After a delay owing to unfiled evidence, a man accused of killing Cleo Diko and burying her in a shallow grave at her home is scheduled to return to court this month.
Diko’s decomposed body was discovered three months after she went missing in October 2022. Her identity had to be confirmed through DNA testing.
Diko’s body was discovered beneath a bed covered in tiles and cement, with a rope around her neck.
Blood-stained pillows and blankets
The suspect, Sandile Jegwa, has been detained and will stay in custody until February 28 when he appears in court again at Mitchells Plain regional court.
A woman reported finding blood-stained pillows and blankets while cleaning the separate entrance where the accused was staying, so she called the police, who then arrested Jegwa.
He was nabbed near the railway station, where he was living.
Action Society, a civil rights organisation, announced on Thursday that there was finally hope in the Diko murder case.
According to Kaylynn Palm of Action Society, the case has been dragged out for months.
The case dragged out for months
“For months, the case dragged on as basic evidence was not filed and the defence’s team used the diphtheria outbreak to further delay the case,” said Palm.
“This meant we had to pile on the pressure to get the case to move ahead. Now our hard work has paid off.”
Palm added: “The suspect will appear on February 28 for a plea, which typically comes after a trial.
Friends and family of Diko expressed their relief and optimism that the case will now finally move forward.
They are pleased with the progress in the murder case.
Listening and talking to young men and boys about gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) in Soweto in August 2023, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government understands how broken homes have resulted in a broken society that has normalised the scourge of GBVF.
He said it was time for society to redefine masculinity.
“When I declared GBV a pandemic in the midst of Covid-19, it was because of these GBV cases that happen in the most intimate spaces, like homes,” said Ramaphosa.
“We have the challenge of reaching out to all men because men refuse to speak.
“However, we will add programmes to reach out to boys who aren’t here, because we want you to be a generation of men who vocalise their feelings instead of resorting to violence.”