Nandipha Madugumana and accomplices to stay in prison for now. Her dad has been granted bail

R10,000 bail for Zolile Sekeleni

By Becker Semela

17 April 2023

Zolile Sekeleni consoles Nandipha Madugumana in the Bloemfontein Magistrates’ Court on Monday. Photo: Becker Semela

Zolile Sekeleni, Nandipha Madugumana’s father, was granted R10,000 bail in the Bloemfontein Magistrates’ Court on Monday. But Madugumana, Senohe Matsoara and Teboho Lipholo will remain in custody until 3 and 4 May, when their formal bail applications will be heard.

Matsoara is a former G4S security officer at Mangaung Prison and Lipholo is a former employee of Integritron, the company that maintains the surveillance cameras in Mangaung prison. Both were on duty the day of the fire.

Proceedings were briefly delayed because of loadshedding.

Prosecutor Sello Matlhoko told the court that the state does not oppose bail against Sekeleni but opposes it against the other three accused. They face several charges, including murder and assisting Thabo Bester to escape.

Sekeleni’s lawyer, Themba Diba, emphasised to the court that they both agreed about Sekeleni’s bail. His case will be heard on 16 May when he will appear with Thabo Bester.

Madugumana wore a hoodie and an N95 mask to cover her face in the heavily guarded courtroom. The magistrate asked her to remove the mask and show her face so that she could be identified. After her Diba unsuccessfully tried to convince the magistrate otherwise, Madugumana briefly removed her mask before putting it back on.

Lipholo has had no lawyer until now but will be represented by Legal Aid.