The case against Bafana Mahungela, the man accused of killing Johannesburg school teacher Kirsten Kluyts, has been postponed to May 10 to allow for further investigations. This after he appeared in court earlier today.
Mahungela remains in custody, having been denied bail in December.
The 21-year-old was arrested in November 2023 after Kluyts’ lifeless body was discovered at George Lea Park in Sandton.
Faces serious charges
He faces charges of murder, rape, and robbery.
Mahungela’s case has captured the attention of the local community and gained national prominence. He was captured on camera wearing the same blue T-shirt that Kluyts had on shortly before her body was found.
Throughout the proceedings, Mahungela has maintained his innocence. He claims he stumbled upon Kluyts’ lifeless body and did not commit the alleged crime.
He argued that he removed her clothes out of panic to avoid leaving fingerprints, a detail that has raised many eyebrows.
Despite Mahungela’s claims and the defence’s argument that the charges are malicious and prejudiced, magistrate Syta Prinsloo denied him bail.
The court determined that the state had presented prima facie evidence of premeditated murder and robbery. As such, Mahungela was kept in custody beyond the holidays.
“Given the prima-facie case against the applicant, the court is of the opinion that the applicant poses a danger to society. Especially to the women in our community.”
She further pointed out that Mahungela had disposed of Kluyts’ clothing, potentially destroying valuable evidence. He had failed to report the discovery of her body to police, she said.
No circumstantial evidence to support his case
“The court is of the opinion that the applicant took deliberate measures to avoid sanctions, eliminating any evidence that could incriminate him,” the magistrate added.
“Consequently, the court believes that the applicant did not flee the province because he believed that all the evidence against him had been destroyed.
“Therefore, the applicant’s application for bail is denied.”
Prinsloo further noted that Mahungela failed to provide any circumstantial evidence to support his case. As a result, the bail application was denied.