Duduzile Zozo

The late Duduzile Zozo

The man accused of murdering and raping lesbian Duduzile Zozo in June has surprised activists by applying for bail.

On Tuesday, 22-year-old Lekgoa Lesley Motleleng made his second appearance in the Palm Ridge Magistrates’ Court in Katlehong, east of Johannesburg.

At his first court appearance following his arrest in October he declined to apply for bail, but has now requested to be released.

Nokhwezi Hoboyi, from the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW), said that the move “came as a shock to many of us activists who were in attendance as we view this as a stunt to delay the case”.

She wrote on Facebook: “Why would this guy want to apply for bail whereas he has confessed to raping and murdering the young lesbian woman in such a brutal manner?

“This would be so unjust to the family as they would have to see the person who killed their beloved daughter roaming the streets of Tokoza as if he hasn’t done anything.”

The case was adjourned until 16 January 2014 for a bail hearing.

Phindile Malaza, Programmes Coordinator for FEW, urged civil society to support the family and to attend and picket the hearing next year.

“We really need to oppose the bail and pressure the prosecutors and the magistrate to not allow it to happen,” she told Mambaonline.

Malaza added that she was hopeful that Zozo’s case would be effectively managed by the authorities.

“The prosecutor has told us that the state has a strong case against the guy and that they are committed to ensuring that justice will be served,” she said.

Zozo’s body was found in Thokoza, outside of Johannesburg, on Sunday 30 June. She had been raped with a toilet brush and was strangled to death. The murder made local and international headlines and drew condemnation from many sectors of society.

Zozo’s shocked mother revealed after Motleleng’s arrest that he knew her daughter well and lived near their home.

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