Family of slain Tembisa nurse fear paralyzed defendant may receive special treatment

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The family of Lebo Monene, a nurse from Tembisa who was allegedly shot and killed in February by her ex-boyfriend.

  • Wheelchair man accused of killing Tembisa nurse Lebo Monene, in February, was released on bail.
  • The state did not oppose his release on the grounds that there wasre no facilities to keep someone in his condition in custody.
  • Monene’s family are outraged by the decision.

The family of murdered Thembisa nurse Lebo Monene are furious after her wheelchair-bound ex-boyfriend, a suspended policeman accused of killing her, was released on bail.

“Really, I’m not well. From now on, his condition will be an excuse used even in the trial because it’s something that’s going to be here for a very long time. It means that when we come back here, nothing will be done and his condition will be an excuse for him not to be sentenced,” said Lebo’s brother, Mpho Monene.

Mudau was granted 5,000 rand bail at the Rabasotho Magistrate’s Court in Tembisa on Wednesday morning.

He is accused of killing Monene by shooting him seven times in the parking lot of Tembisa hospital in February after an altercation. He then turned the gun on himself, but survived. He is quadriplegic, meaning he cannot use any of his four limbs.

Commenting after the bail request, Mpho said Mudau received special treatment due to his condition and he lost hope because of it.

“He’s the one who put himself in this state so he doesn’t need bail. Obviously my sister’s life is not important,” Mpho added.

Members of the Democratic Nursing Organization of South Africa (Denosa) and the South African National Civic Organization (Sanco) waited patiently and peacefully outside the courtroom. They were holding signs that read, “No bail, life sentence please.”

When they heard that Mudau had been released on bail, they were outraged and immediately gathered outside the courthouse where they sang protest songs.

Lesibana Lamola, a relative who led the large group, spoke to the media.

“It was not what we expected. Let’s put aside the 5,000 rand. In the end, no amount of money will bring Lebo back,” he said.

The nurse’s father, Nicolas Monene, who stood at a distance from the group, was incredulous.

He said:

I’m not happy. My child is no more. I had to bury her, but the man who killed her was released on bail. It really doesn’t suit me.

Like his son, he thinks Mudau’s condition could become an excuse he will use at trial.

The trial will be delayed countless times due to his condition, which would not be fair to the family, he added.

When Mudau made his first court appearance on July 11, the father told News24 that seeing him for the first time since the incident had opened up wounds.

It bothered him that the Mudau family hadn’t apologized.

“If you’ve wronged someone, you go to the family and say you’re sorry, but they didn’t. That’s why until today I can’t say that I’m sorry for his condition. As a man, he should have found better ways to resolve the argument. I hate him,” he said.

On Wednesday, National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Phindi Mjonondwane said evidence presented in court showed there were exceptional circumstances warranting Mudau’s bail.

Mudau will return to court on September 21.

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