Zoliswa Nkonyana

The five year long trial of the men found guilty of murdering lesbian Zoliswa Nkonyana continues to be plagued by outrageous delays.

The sentencing of Lubabalo Ntlabathi, Sicelo Mase, Luyanda Londzi and Mbulelo Damba has now been set for 30 January 2012 by the Khayelitsha Magistrates’ Court.

In October they were found guilty of stoning and stabbing 19-year-old Nkonyana to death in 2006 in Khayelitsha because she was a lesbian.

The Cape Times reported that on Tuesday Londzi told magistrate Radia Wethan that he wanted to “go to school and further my studies”.

“Maybe one day I can be a policeman. I also want to go to initiation school. I want to assist my parents,” he said.

Londzi denies having murdered Nkonyana and has asked the court for mercy.

When asked by prosecuting attorney Anthea Allchin what sentence he deserved, Damba also denied having anything to do with the murder.

“I sympathise with the family because I am human. I think they should accept what happened to them,” said Damba.

Allchin replied: “It’s hard for them to accept it when you and your co-accused don’t accept responsibility.”

She accused the men of killing Nkonyana because “she was a lesbian. That’s the reason why she was attacked. And that’s why you didn’t like her”.

Meanwhile, following over 40 delays in the trial and alleged incompetence by the police in its investigations, civil society groups have filed a legal complaint demanding that Premier Helen Zille institute a commission of inquiry into the Khayelitsha criminal justice system.

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