Cape Town – Khayelitsha residents have called on the judiciary to ensure that courts are not user-friendly to criminals who commit offences such as murder, rape and grievous bodily harm, after it emerged that Sakhumzi Ntintili – who is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend – had previous murder charges against him.
The body of 31-year-old Thandazwa Booi was found under Ntintili’s bed on November 6, in Island informal settlement, Khayelitsha.
Ntintili had been on the run for about a week when he was later arrested for murder.
Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said post-mortem results confirmed that the mother of one was strangled.
A 36-year-old suspect was arrested for the murder.
Residents and Booi’s family members held a demonstration outside the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court on Monday, after Ntintili made a brief appearance during which his bail application was denied.
Booi’s brother, Sithembele, 34, said they were relieved by the decision, claiming they would have been among the families denied justice.
“We are shocked that he had previously faced a number of serious charges, including three for murder and and two for assault.
“When he was still on the run, we feared not only for our lives but for other people who might not know what he was capable of and accept him with warm arms like we did.
“His bail being denied will not bring back my sister, but it will give us closure as the family and we are hoping for a harsh sentence for him,” he said.
According to the brother, Ntintili and his younger sister had been dating for two months, and she broke up with him three weeks before she was found dead.
“Thandazwa had noticed that he was starting to be abusive and had tendencies of threatening her, so she decided to end the relationship. She was last seen alive by her friends.
“Ntintili reportedly bought her liquor and then took her to his shack. “My brother’s girlfriend heard her scream at night, but couldn’t do anything because she is visually impaired.
“The following day when this was reported to us, we went to inspect but the shack was locked.
“We broke into it, lifted up the bed and found Thandazwa’s naked body. We believed he couldn’t accept that she didn’t want to be with anymore because of the abuse,” he said.
SA National Civic Organisation chairperson, Myolisi Magibisela, said while they were attending the case there were two other protest actions in court for gender-based violence incidents.
“There is a war against women and children in our communities… It is also shocking that some of these perpetrators committed heinous crimes while out on bail or had other pending charges.
“The judiciary system needs to look into courts like the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court to see if cases are treated in the manner they deserve and harsh sentences given. Our communities, especially men, also have a role to play in this fight,” said Magibisela.