A man accused of killing his 41-year-old lover appeared briefly in the Protea Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, claiming he was innocent. He also told the court he wanted to conduct his own defence.
It took some effort from Magistrate David Mhango to convince Samuel Thokozani Sibeko, 28, to seek legal assistance.
“I prefer to represent myself and conduct my own defence. I don’t need a lawyer because I don’t know what I did,” Sibeko said.
Mhango warned Sibeko that he was facing serious charges of murder and defeating the ends of justice, and that it would be in his best interests to have a lawyer represent him.
“I am going to think about it. I insist on conducting my own defence. I am sure I will defend myself,” reiterated Sibeko.
Sibeko said he had a previous conviction of assault to cause grievous bodily harm, and claimed he had been sentenced to six months.
“Are you sure you will represent yourself? Remember, you have a right to bring a bail application and you will need a lawyer to represent you. Do you know how to bring a bail application?” asked Mhango.
Sibeko then changed his mind and asked for the court to assist him in securing services of a Legal Aid lawyer.
Sibeko was arrested on Sunday, after he alleged confessed to Vlakfontein residents that he had killed and buried his 41-year-old girlfriend under his bed.
The body of the woman, who has not been identified, was discovered on Monday, buried in a shallow grave inside the shack which the deceased had shared with Sibeko.
Sibeko allegedly confessed while drinking alcohol with his friends at a local shebeen, after they asked about the whereabouts of the deceased.
Police were called to the scene on Sunday after Sibeko’s confession. They returned the following day, with forensic experts, to exhume the body.
Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko said the victim was from QwaQwa in the Free State.
She has appealed to anyone who might know the deceased to contact Lenasia South police.
Sibeko is expected back in court on August 20 for a formal bail application.