Domenica, 07 Febbraio 2016 16:11 | DNA evidence key to Rhodes Park prosecution case

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Johannesburg - DNA evidence was expected to play acrucial role in linking three suspects to the brutal attack on two couples atRhodes Park in Kensington.

The couples were attacked by a

12-man gang as they took astroll around the park in October following a church service.

The two men were stripped naked. Their clothes were usedto tie their hands and legs and they were then thrown into the dam where theydrowned.

One of the men's partners was raped, while the othermanaged to escape.

On Monday, prosecutor Colleen Ryan told the JohannesburgMagistrate's Court that semen collected from the victim would hopefully linkthe suspects to the crime.

She stated that she had since received the preliminaryresults from two of the accused - Thabo Nkala and Edmor Ndlovu - both believedto be foreign nationals who are in the country illegally.

The two were arrested just days after the crime, whilethe third suspect, Mduduzi Mathibela, was arrested in December.

The final DNA results of all three men were expected tobe ready next month.

When Nkala first appeared in court last year, he hadshoulder-length dreadlocks which he had tied in a ponytail.

On Monday he appeared in court with his locks cut off,wearing an old white shirt.

Ndlovu stood next to him, scrunching his face as he walkedinto the courtroom and again when he addressed his lawyer, insisting that hedid not want to be photographed.

Ndlovu held his hands behind his back as the three ofthem followed the proceedings through an interpreter.

Mathibela, who also wore an old, washed out white shirt,said he didn't want his face in the media in order to protect his children whowere still at school.

Magistrate Lucas van der Schyff rejected his reasons andgranted permission for the media to take pictures of all three of them at theend of proceedings.

This was also supported by the fact that the State saidit would not be conducting an ID parade with the three men.

A court orderly, however, hurried the three men out ofcourt before proceedings were adjourned, making it impossible for the media totake pictures of them.

The three were expected back in court on March 30.

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