Suspects in five North West initiates’ murders abandon bail

Two men linked to the five deaths at a North West initiation school have abandoned their bail application on Tuesday.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Henry Mamothame said that the duo was expected to apply for bail at the Lehurutshe magistrate’s court, but have decided to abandon it.

Obakeng Segwabe, 19, and Olebogeng Mafora, 21, face five counts of murder, two of violation of corpses and one of defeating the ends of justice.

Human skeletal remains discovered

Initially the duo was arrested for the murder of two people at a Zeerust initiation school last year. This was after human skeletal remains were found in a plastic bag in the bushes near Mosweu village in Zeerust.

Mamothame explained: “After further investigation and linkages to three decomposed bodies that were discovered between December 2023 and January 2024, and that the deceased were part of the boys that were at the initiation school, three additional charges of murder were added. The deceased were allegedly starved and beaten to death. And subsequently their bodies were burnt.”

DNA tests ongoing

Mamothame said that police investigations, including the identification of the bodies through DNA, are underway. This is the reason why the deceased’s names have not been disclosed. 

He revealed that further investigations also led to the arrest of Koketso Mmutlane,19. He was arrested for defeating the ends of justice.

“He allegedly influenced Segabe and Mafora to lie about the legality of the initiation school and its activities, including the deaths. He is expected to appear before court on February 09 2024. He was released on a warning,” He said.

More charges not ruled out

Mmutlane is expected appear before the same court on February 9, after being released on warning.

Police said that three additional charges of murder were added.

Initially, at the time of their arrest, the police were not able to rule out chances that the suspects may face other charges. These include contravention of the Customary Initiation Act, 2021.

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