Vlakfontein murders: Lead investigator set to return to stand

Last week, Sergeant Banele Ndlovu told the court that the two suspects communicated telephonically ahead of the murders of 7 members of the Khoza family in Vlakfontein.

Murder co-accused Ernest Mabaso stands in the dock at the Lenasia Magistrates Court where the case was postponed on 20 November 2018. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Sergeant Banele Ndlovu will return to the stand in the Protea Magistrates Court on Tuesday to continue weighing in on the bail applications of murder accused Ernest Mabaso and Fita Khupe.

Last week, he told the court that the two men communicated telephonically ahead of the murders of 7 members of the Khoza family in Vlakfontein.

The bodies of the four children and three adults were found buried on their property at their home in southern Joburg in October.

Last week, Khupe's lawyer Gerhard Landman argued that his client could not have murdered the family because he was out of the country at the time of the crime.

However, Ndlovu says they have cell phone records proving that Mabaso and Khupe were in constant contact.

Ndlovu also claimed that Mabaso had told the police that Khupe wanted the Khoza house to belong to him.

Landman rejected this, saying that Khupe was not related to the Khozas so it would have been impossible for him to inherit it.

The 27-year-old Mabaso has admitted to his role in the murders, claiming that it was Khupe who masterminded the crime gave him a hammer and instructed him to strike each member of the family with the weapon.

Mabaso and Khupe are charged with seven counts of murder and theft, with Mabaso facing an additional three counts of rape.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)