Vlakfontein residents block roads after NPA ruling on murder-accused Khupe

The community members say they are also unhappy that they were not told that Khupe's matter was brought forward to today, instead of next week, as initially scheduled.

Fita Khupe appeared in Lenasia Magistrates Court for allegedly killing seven people in Vlakfontein. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Residents of Vlakfontein have blocked roads with burning tyres in protesting against the National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA) decision to drop all charges against the man who's believed to have been behind the murder of seven members of the Khoza family.

The State has withdrawn its charges against the 61-year-old Fita Khupe, the last suspect in the case.

It said it had found no reasonable prospects to prosecute him, adding a lack of DNA evidence added to this decision.

The residents have called on Minister of Justice Ronald Lamola to explain to them why Khupe has been let off when the community was still reeling from the loss of seven people.

The African National Congress Youth League's Thulani Mbatha said community members wanted answers or else they would render the area ungovernable.

The community members said they were also unhappy that they were not told that Khupe's matter had been brought forward to Friday, instead of next week, as initially scheduled.

Khupe was accused of bludgeoning to death seven members of the Khoza family in Vlakfontein, south of Johannesburg.

He had been in a long-standing relationship with one of the Khoza women who were found murdered and buried under heaps of soil in the family home in October 2018.

His case was postponed in February, days after his co-accused Ernest Mabaso was found dead in an apparent suicide in a Cape Town police holding cell.

Khupe wanted the case against him dismissed on the grounds that the person who had implicated him in the crime was dead, meaning the prosecution would now rely on hearsay evidence of a dead man to prosecute him.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)