No justice nine years later

VEREENIGING. - The Vereeniging Magistrates Court was recently filled with many dissatisfied faces.

VEREENIGING. – The Vereeniging Magistrates Court was recently filled with many dissatisfied faces.

This was when Magistrate Ebrahim Makda handed down his judgement following the inquest into the triple murder of Joycelin Lesito, Victoria Ndweni and Constance Moeletsi. They are also known as ‘The dry-clean three.’ The three female laundry workers were apparently killed and their bodies stashed in linen bins at Protea Dry Cleaners in Three Rivers in 2006.

In his judgement, Makda stated that the three ladies were indeed murdered and must have known their murderers: “The tragedy is that 9 years have elapsed and the matter has not proceeded to trial. The families of the deceased no doubt want the murderers convicted and justice served.

“The suspects no doubt want the matter finalised as well so that they too can proceed with living their lives. The community and the interests of justice also demand some finality in this matter. However, the sad truth is that there is a serious lack of evidence against the suspects at this time.”

Makda added that the only direct evidence or potential eyewitness in the matter, Jacob Dhlamini, sadly passed away about six years after the incident, taking evidence to his grave: “The court is unfortunately uncertain as to the identity of the people responsible.” Makda concluded that judgement would be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions, (DPP.)

The families of the deceased, who were supported by the Sedibeng Region ANC Women’s League, churches and women in general, said they were shocked at the judgement. Caroline Lesito, mother of Joycelin, says, “Our children did not kill themselves. We were hoping that after all these years, justice would be served. To our surprise the suspects, who were nowhere to be seen in court, might get off scot-free.”

NC MPL Nelisiwe Moerane said, “As the ANC Women’s League, we are really not satisfied with this judgement. We will push that the case be referred to the High Court and we will not stop until justice is served.”

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