The five suspects in the murder of Eudy Simelane appeared at the Springs Magistrate Court on Tuesday morning, in what was expected to be their bail application.

However, in a surprising turnabout, all four defence attorneys representing the five accused expressed the will of their clients not to apply for bail.

Mr Hoffman, representing T. Pitja, suggested that they might want to bring a bail application at a later date.

Accused number 5, T. Mpithi, who previously submitted a confession, briefly addressed the court saying that “accused number 1, 2 and 4 were not at the scene” – to the surprise of his lawyer and the audience.

Accused number 3 wanted to immediately respond to this, but the Magistrate adjourned the hearing.

After a brief recess to allow counsels to consult with their clients, Mr Mfungwana, representing accused number 5, informed the court that his client had been instructed to remain silent.

He further requested the court to transfer accused number 5 to a different holding facility until the next court appearance because of the “fighting with accused number 3”.

The State Prosecutor, Eddie Maloba, held no objections and informed the court that there were still three pending reports from the investigation; the photos of the deceased, the post mortem and DNA results – which would support further charges of robbery and gang rape.

Magistrate Betty Lesufi remanded the case to June 26 in the same court.

Captain Enoch Dube from the South African Police Service, The State Prosecutor, Eddie Maloba and Phumi Mtetwa of the L&G Equality Project and 7-7-7 End Hate Campaign addressed about 100 activists outside the court.

Captain Dube pleaded for patience, expressing the complex nature of the case and reassuring the crowd that the very best was being done in the investigation.

Maloba informed activists of the expected process from here-on:

“With the photos, the post mortem and DNA reports, the five will then be formally charged for murder and hopefully also rape and robbery.”

It is expected that from then on the State will move the case to the High Court for trial – likely to be heard in Delmas.

The 7-7-7 End Hate Campaign said that it will “remain vigilant throughout this process” and “calls on everyone to continue presence at every hearing.”

Simelane, a former player in the South African national women’s soccer team, was assaulted, raped and murdered in the Tornado section of Kwa Thema in the East Rand at the end of April.

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