The man suspected of murdering up to nineteen people, mostly women and children from a rural Eastern Cape village that has become known as the village of death, made a brief court appearance today.
Police spokesman, Major Ernest Sigobe, said 39-year-old Bulelani Mabhayi, from R1 village Tholeni near Butterworth, appeared briefly before Butterworth Regional court today facing 23 counts of murder and rape.
Sigobe said the case had been referred to the Butterworth High Court, where Mabhayi would appear on the 18th of October. Mabhayi would then face the 22 charges already lodged against him, as well as a further 11 additional rape and murder charges, bringing the total charges against him to 33.
Sigobe said Mabhayi had been remanded in custody while detectives continued their investigations and would be referred for psychiatric evaluation before his court appearance.
Mabhayi is believed to be behind a series of vicious murders that targeted women and children, who were hacked to death with a panga.
Mabhayi ‘s 33-year-old cousin, Mqwalaseli Mabhayi, from Ngobozi locality in Tholeni Village, was sentenced by the Mthatha High Court in March this year to two life imprisonment terms for the brutal murder of 70-year-old Ntombomzi Gubevu and her granddaughter Nonelwa Gubevu (12).