The man accused of murdering young lesbian woman Noluvo Swelindawo (also known as Vovo) has abandoned his bail application in Cape Town.
On Wednesday, the Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court was packed with activists, community members and Swelindawo’s friends and family for Signine Mdani’s bail application hearing.
There was some confusion when the 24-year-old murder suspect contradicted his lawyer’s statement that he did not wish to apply for bail.
After the two consulted during a break in proceedings, Mdani confirmed that he would not pursue the bail application. He will remain in custody, with the case returning to court on 15 February 2017.
The news was welcomed by LGBTI group Triangle Project, which had campaigned for Mdani to be denied bail. Activists argued that the alleged killer could intimidate potential witnesses and the already fearful LGBTI community if he was released.
A petition calling for Mdani to remain behind bars, signed by 1,300 people, was not addressed in court because of the suspect’s decision not to apply for bail.
Activists protest outside the Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court (Pic: Triangle Project)
Mdani is accused of being part of a mob that attacked and abducted Swelindawo, 22, from her home in Driftsands, near Khayelitsha on 3 December. It is alleged that he later shot her dead and dumped her body next to the N2 highway, under a footbridge.
While there are fears that he allegedly killed Swelindawo because of her sexuality, possible motives behind the attack have not been confirmed and are only expected to be made public during the trial.
It is also not clear why the other men who were alleged to be part of the mob that abducted Swelindawo have not been arrested.
The state is still awaiting post mortem results, further witness statements, photos of the crime scenes and DNA results.