Twenty-five-year-old Alutha Pasile made a brief second appearance in the East London magistrate’s court on Tuesday on charges of murder and defeating the ends of justice.
The charges follow the gruesome murder of 23-year-old University of Fort Hare student, Nosicelo Mtebeni, which sent shockwaves throughout the country.
During his first court appearance, Pasile confessed to killing Mtebeni and declined to apply for bail or legal representation, according to the National Prosecuting Authority.
Mtebeni’s dismembered body was discovered in a suitcase in Quigney on August 19. A plastic bag containing her body parts was dumped next to the suitcase on the sidewalk on the corner of Fleet Street and Fitzpatrick Road.
It was reported that a 36-year-old man was walking in the area when he overheard two school girls talking about the horrific discovery.
He then reportedly alerted the police who were patrolling the area. While the police were investigating the scene, a bystander said they had allegedly seen the accused earlier that morning leaving his residence with a suitcase and a grey/black bag.
This account matched the description of the suitcase and plastic bag found at the scene. Pasile was subsequently arrested on the Thursday.
“His case was postponed to November 9 for further investigation,” said NPA regional spokesperson Anelisa Ngcakani.
Among the protesters who waited outside the court as the trial proceeded, was MEC of Social Development in the Eastern Cape, Siphokazi Mani-Lusithi. Lusithi described the case postponement as one of the discouraging moments in the justice systems. “In lesser publicized cases, these postponements lead to victims giving up on following up the cases, leading to some cases being thrown out of court,” she said.
However Lusithi encouraged the crowd to continue gathering and to speak out against the atrocities of gender based violence.
Department of Social Development MEC, Siphokazi Mani-Lusithi together with protesters from the University of Fort Hare and community members demanding justice outside the court on Tuesday.