By Mashamba Media
The Soshanguve Magistrates’ Court denied bail to Lerato Mahlangu (32), she is facing charges of premeditated murder, defeating the administration of justice, and fraud.
Lerato and her husband, who is also charged, have been accused of killing and burning a man at their shared house in Block HH, Soshanguve on January 2, 2022.
Thereafter, it is further alleged that Lerato, obtained a fraudulent death certificate from the Department of Home Affairs, claiming that her husband Sibusiso, died in the fire and later claimed life policies.
According to NPA spokesperson, Lumka Mahanjana, the husband’s possession of a stolen car in Hammanskraal led to the couple’s arrest on April 20, 2023. It was discovered during his arrest and processing that he was registered as deceased.
According to Mahanjana, Mahlangu’s bail application was submitted in the form of an affidavit, in which she stated her intention to plead non-guilty to the charges.
“She also asked to be released on bail, because she wants to provide for her family as she is the sole breadwinner, and her incarceration affects her family financially.
“Furthermore, her minor child has now been placed under the care of her sick grandmother since her arrest.
“However, the state prosecutor Luyanda Nkwale opposed her bail application and presented an affidavit of the investigating offer stating that though Mahlangu had a clean criminal record, there was the likelihood that she would evade trial as she is facing a schedule 6 offence and might also interfere with state witnesses.
“Furthermore, Nkwale told the court that the state had a strong case against the accused,” said Mahanjana.
The magistrates agreed with the state, that the accused showed no evidence that exceptional circumstances existed which in the interest of justice permitted her release on bail.
“Furthermore, there was the likelihood that her release on bail would disturb the public peace and order, therefore her bail was denied,” Mahanjana said.
The husband, Sibusiso Mahlangu abandoned his bail application on 18 May 2023 and is remanded in custody.
The matter was postponed to 29 November 2023, for the Director of Public Prosecutions instructions.