Bail for man who allegedly killed girlfriend a day before wedding

The man who allegedly killed his girlfriend a day before they were to wed was on Tuesday granted R5 000 bail on strict conditions.

Pietermaritzburg high court Judge Mokgere Masipa ordered that Jabulani Sithole (43) relocate from Pietermaritzburg, report to a specific police station three times a week and not interfere with, or have any dealings with the state witnesses.

Sithole is charged with the murder of Nompumelelo Ngubane on August 18, last year.

Read: Bride killed on eve of wedding after receiving threats

It is alleged she was strangled in the Camps Drift area and then taken to Sweetwaters where her body was left in her car.

Sithole’s alleged accomplices; Kwanele Shoba, Sanele Zondi and Sifiso Mkhize, who were also denied bail in December last year, did not appeal the decision.

Judge Masipa said that in the initial bail application the investigating officer said in an affidavit that witnesses were scared of Sithole but he did not specify reasons and indicate who they are.

She said Sithole’s advocate, Dalene Barnard, submitted he has not had a brush with the law before this.

Although he is not a primary caregiver, he is the main breadwinner for his wife and three minor children, said the judge.

“According to him, if he remains in custody, they [his dependents] will suffer irreparable harm since he would lose his employment having been gainfully employed in excess of 22 years,” she said.

Sithole is employed by the Health Department at Grey’s Hospital.

Judge Masipa added that it will be highly prejudicial to Sithole’s dependents that he remains in jail.

These factors are sufficient to amount to exceptional circumstances.

She said the court that denied Sithole bail ought to have considered whether it was in the interests of justice for his release. There is nothing to suggest that if he is released on bail, the interests of justice will not be served.

Nothing suggests he is likely to abscond.

“The most common objective in bail applications is to secure the attendance of the accused at trial,” she said, adding that there was nothing to suggest that if he is granted bail, this objective will not be achieved.