The late Duduzile Zozo
Activists have welcomed news that the man on trial for murdering and raping lesbian Duduzile Zozo in June last year has been denied bail.
On Wednesday, the Palm Ridge Magistrates’ Court in Katlehong, east of Johannesburg, heard arguments in connection with the the bail application of 22-year-old Lekgoa Lesley Motleleng.
He has been accused of raping the 26-year-old Zozo with a toilet brush and strangling her to death. The brutal murder made local and international headlines.
According to the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW), Motleleng’s application for bail was denied because he could not show exceptional reasons as to why he should be granted bail.
The magistrate also acknowledged that should he be released he could face harm from the community.
Dikeledi Sibanda, Projects Organiser at FEW, told Mambaonline that she was happy that bail had been denied because it meant that the community and Zozo’s family would be safer. She also agreed that Motleleng was likely to be harmed himself if released.
“The community will definitely kill him. The community is angry. Duduzile was loved and she was friendly. She played a role in her community and her family. The community felt it was not fair killing her for living her life the way she wanted to,” Sibanda said.
She explained that it was important for Motleleng to face official justice and not mob justice. “I believe in justice and I believe in legal things. I don’t believe in taking the law into our own hands. It won’t solve the issue,” she added.
The Director of Public Prosecutions has recommended that the trial be heard in the High Court due to the seriousness of the charges. The matter will be discussed when the case resumes on 11 March.
Sibanda urged members of the LGBT community to attend the next hearing. “We need to strengthen our support for each other. The more that come, the more pressure we add to the magistrate and prosecutor to ensure that justice is done.”