The Soshanguve Magistrates’ Court denied bail to Lerato Mahlangu (32), she is facing charges of premeditated murder, defeating the administration of justice, and fraud. It is alleged that on 02 January 2022, Lerato and her husband who is a co-accused in the matter killed a man and burnt his body at the house she shared with her husband in Block HH, Soshanguve. 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. The couple was arrested for this matter on 20 April 2023, after the husband was found in possession of a stolen car in Hammanskraal. Upon his arrest and processing, it was discovered that he was registered as deceased.

In court, Mahlangu brought her bail application in the form of an affidavit, where she stated that she intends to plead not 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.

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. 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.

Issued by:
Lumka Mahanjana:
NPA Regional Spokesperson
Gauteng Division: Pretoria

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