Community members attending the case of murder accused Flavio Hlabangwane cheered when they heard that the 26-year-old had abandoned his bail application and would be kept in the hospital facilities of Johannesburg Prison, infamously known as Sun City.
Hlabangwane made his second appearance at the Protea Magistrate’s Court today, where his lawyer revealed that he had attempted to commit suicide in jail for the second time since his arrest on Saturday last week.
Human body parts were discovered in his fridge in his Protea Glen home in Sowet earlier in November. His partner is said to have made the grisly discovery while he was out shopping.
Magistrate David Mhango postponed the case until November 30 when Hlabangwane’s lawyer, Gift Mcube, is expected to submit an application for his client’s mental evaluation.
Special care is needed and should be provided for him where he will be kept in custody.
During court proceedings Hlabangwane seemed confused and disoriented with his head bound in bandages and his eyes staring at the floor. His mother, three sisters and a cousin were present during the brief proceedings.
The court also heard that his application to be represented by the Legal Aid Board was declined for not meeting the requirements.
National Prosecuting Authority Gauteng spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said that Hlabangwane’s income exceeded the limit used to determine whether an accused person could afford a private lawyer.
Gender activist and community developer Fikile Mazibuko from the Enough Movement said that if Hlabangwane were granted bail, the community would not be afraid to take the law into their own hands.
He gruesomely killed a woman (allegedly) so we were going to make sure that he also does not live. I really hope justice will prevail and that he will rot in jail with no bail ever being granted.
She said the law must be tougher on gender-based violence crimes as it is the only way to stop the scourge.
“We also call on the police to stop ridiculing women who come and report these crimes at an early stage. If police take us seriously and do their job then most of the killings will be stopped before they can happen,” said Mazibuko.
People in his neighbourhood described him as a peace-loving bookworm who didn’t have friends and was always in the company of his mother, Grace Hlabangwane.
They said that they were shocked when they heard what had happened. Hlabangwane was married to his cousin, Tshepang Tsipe, and it is suspected that the human remains in his home were hers.