AFRICAN TIMES CORRESPONDENT
TWO convicted rapists and murderers are set to approach the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein for leave to appeal their respective 25-year sentences.
This comes after the Polokwane High Court this week dismissed Theophilus Shayi and Reebeck Maungane’s application for leave to appeal.
Shayi and Malungane, of Mashishimale village near Phalaborwa in Limpopo, have been handed heavy jail sentences in connection with the assaults and deaths of Tumi Monyela and Lerato Malesa in July 2014.
The school girls were kidnapped by a mob of 11 people and taken to the nearby sports field before being found dead.
The Phalaborwa Circuit Court found Shayi (30) and Malungani (28) guilty of rape and murder on March 11.
The duo, however, were cleared on a charge of kidnapping after the state failed to produce evidence linking them to the crime.
Speaking after the high court’s decision Advocate Thabo Malatji, for Shayi and Malungane, said his clients would apply for leave to appeal both their convictions and jail terms.
“We believe that the state didn’t provide enough evidence that the two were involved in the assaults and murders of the deceased. Malatji said. “We are of the view that another court may arrive at a different conclusion on this matter.”
Mashishimale residents travelled to Polokwane in a bus to support Shayi and Malungane.
They are now collecting donations to help fund their SCA case.
A group of youths, who gathered outside the court wearing ANC and DA t-shirts, vowed to continue supporting the two men.
“If the judge doesn’t release our brothers there won’t be any voting within the municipality for the upcoming local government elections,” stressed Maria Mkhombo of Phathamashako.
Another furious youth wearing school uniform added: “This school uniform represents all girls who were raped by Theophilus and Reebeck whilst on their way to Lebeko High and Maphokwane High and Mashishimale Primary Schools. Those thugs used to hide at Selati River for many years waiting for our sisters and raped them before the community decided to act against them.”
Hundreds of residents protested outside the Phalaborwa Magistrate Court two weeks ago calling on the court to release the two.
The community had protested repeatedly and brought the Namakgale Township and surrounding villages into a standstill since the case began two years ago.