Sam Mbatha case to move to High Court


The body of Sam Mbatha was found in the boot of his burned-out car in June 2021

A year after his horrific murder, Sam Mbatha’s family is still not much closer to justice as the case against his alleged killers grinds on.

Last week, the Ga-Rankuwa Regional Court postponed the case against the suspects charged with killing the gay 24-year-old marketing and communications professional.

They are Arthur Khoza, 19, Thato Masetla, 22, Junior Modise, 21, and Mahlatsi Nkuna, 21.

The postponement to 26 July is to serve the four accused with the final indictment and to transfer the case to the High Court where the pre-trial will begin.

Mbatha’s body was discovered in the boot of his torched Hyundai i20 at a soccer field in Klipgat, North West Province, in June last year. Because the body had been burned beyond recognition, police were unable to confirm his identity.

Investigations led the police to a house in Klipgat. In one of the bedrooms, investigators found bloodstains on the floor, under and on top of a bed as well as on the carpet.

An axe suspected to have been used in the commission of the crime was found on the roof of the house. The motive for the attack remains unknown.

Mbatha’s family endured an excruciating six months in limbo as they waited for the results of forensic DNA tests that eventually confirmed that the remains were indeed his.

Three of the four suspects are currently out on no more than R500 bail, a fact that shocked both Mbatha’s family and the LGBTIQ+ community. The fourth suspect, Masetla is expected to apply for bail this week.

Mbatha was one of the 24 reported LGBTIQ+ individuals murdered in South Africa in 2021.

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