Palesa Madiba’s murder case resumes

UJ student Palesa Madiba’s family says the constant court postponements have been taking a toll on them.

The trial of the man accused of murdering University of Johannesburg (UJ) student Palesa Madiba seven years ago is expected to be back in the High Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday morning.

Dumisani Mkhwanazi’s case was postponed last Thursday for closing arguments.

He allegedly killed and buried Madiba’s body in the backyard of his home in Soweto after robbing her of her cellphone. He’s facing charges including murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Mkhwanazi was the last person to take the stand last week for cross-examination.

He denied all the statements given by the witnesses linking him to the crimes for which he stands accused.

The state questioned him about why all the witnesses, some complete strangers, gave evidence that incriminated him.

Mkhwanazi told the court he is surprised by this. He maintained his innocence but conceded that he had seen Palesa at his home on the day she went missing. He told the court that he left her and came home late after visiting friends.

‘Waiting for justice’

Madiba’s family has complained that the postponements have taken a toll on them. Her aunt Malesela Moshidi says after waiting for Palesa before her body was found, they now have to wait for justice.

“It has really taken a toll on my family. We waited to find Palesa and after finding Palesa, we waited for the arrest and now we are still waiting for this guy to face his demons. It is like he is playing a dirty game because now there’s story after story. It is really annoying and it is taking us back to that dark place.”

In March 2019, the accused was stopped by police. Inside the car he was driving, officers discovered a firearm and ammunition that he was unable to produce a licence for.

In the video below, Moshidi said the thought of what the accused did to Palesa angers the family: