Saadiqah Lippert murder suspects appear in court

The six-year-old was shot and killed outside her home on Monday in what is believed to be gang violence.

Dozens of people who had come to support Saadiqah Lippert's family ordered out of court by police officers. Pictures: Monique Mortlock/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Dozens of people have gathered at Athlone Magistrates Court today in support of the family of a slain six-year-old girl.

Two men linked to Saadiqah Lippert's murder have appeared briefly in court, in-camera. The child was hit by a stray bullet on Monday.

Before proceedings got underway police officers ordered everyone out of court.

Only Lippert's parents and the media were allowed to remain inside.

The prosecutor has told the court the men are facing murder charges and that the attack was gang and drug related.

Both men glanced nervously at an open window inside the courtroom as people banging on it during proceedings.

The girl's mother, Chimeize, cried loudly next to the child's father, Shadick, as the accused left the room.

One of the accused told the grieving parents "dit was nie ek nie" (it wasn't me) as he went down to the cells.

Meanwhile, Athlone residents say they don't want the two men accused of killing the six-year-old back in their community.

Police officers stood guard with rifles at the entrances to the courtroom.

This amid claims by community leaders that the accused have received death threats from a rival gang.

The appearance was brief and the men have been remanded in custody.

Outside court, the Athlone Community Policing Forum chairperson Aziza Kannemeyer says she hopes the rest of the family will be allowed in when the matter is back in court next week.

"Allow the family, especially the little girl's grandparents, to see who is accused of being responsible for this tragedy."

Dozens of community members outside the court have been demanding bail be denied.