A friend of slain University of Johannesburg student Palesa Madiba has not yet been confirmed as a State witness, the National Prosecuting Authority told News24 on Tuesday.
“The State still has to finalise its consultations with witnesses before deciding on who and how many witnesses will testify,” Gauteng NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said.
When questioned further about whether Tshidi Mkhwanazi – the niece of the man charged with Madiba’s murder – had been confirmed as a State witness, Mjonondwane replied “no”.
Madiba went to sleep over at Mkhwanazi’s home in Phiri, Soweto, on August 9, 2013. She never returned.
When asked by Madiba’s relatives about the whereabouts of their daughter, Mkhwanazi told them she had last seen her on August 12, 2013, when she left her best friend at her Phiri home that morning.
Her body was later found on December 16, 2015, in a shallow grave behind the home after a neighbour noticed an arm protruding from the shallow grave, News24 reported.
Mkhwanazi’s 36-year-old uncle Dumisani Mkhwanazi was taken in for questioning by police but was later released.
He then obtained a restraining order against the Madiba family, claiming they were harassing him, News24 earlier reported.
On July 29, 2019, the police finally made an arrest, charging Dumisani Mkhwanazi with murder and defeating the ends of justice.
He appeared in the Protea Magistrate’s Court on Monday, where the matter was transferred to the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.
The trial will commence on October 25.