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Joburg Student Denied Bail in Murder Case of Sandton Schoolteacher



JOHANNESBURG – Bafana Mahungela, the Johannesburg student implicated in the murder of Sandton schoolteacher Kirsten Kluyts, has been denied bail after his appeal was rejected by the high court.

High Court Decision

The Johannesburg high court upheld the previous decision made by the Alexandra regional court in December, where Mahungela was initially denied bail. High court judge Rean Strydom stated that Mahungela failed to prove that the original refusal of bail was incorrect, citing a strong prima facie case against him.

The Case Against Mahungela

Kirsten Kluyts’ body was discovered on a path near the Sandton Sports Club after she went missing during the MyRun event in Parkmore on October 29. Mahungela, 21, was arrested almost a month after the murder. Evidence presented in court, including images, placed Mahungela near the location where Kluyts’ body was found.

Mahungela’s Defense

Mahungela has pleaded not guilty, claiming he found Kluyts’ body and checked for a pulse but found none. He stated that he noticed her neck was swollen and decided to distance himself from the scene to avoid suspicion. He admitted to touching Kluyts’ body, which led him to fear that his fingerprints might be found on her clothing. To avoid implication, he undressed her and wore her T-shirt, a decision he failed to adequately explain.

Judge Strydom highlighted the suspect nature of Mahungela’s actions, noting that his behavior, such as not reporting the discovery immediately and changing his shirt with that of the deceased, raised further questions. “His explanation for his behavior not to report his discovery immediately, as he did not want to implicate himself, appears to be suspect but it is an issue for the trial court to decide,” said Strydom.


Evidence and Court Rulings

Mahungela’s account of events did not align with the evidence. He admitted to disposing of Kluyts’ clothing items but denied taking her watch and sunglasses. Judge Strydom supported the magistrate Syta Prinsloo’s earlier ruling that a prima facie case had been established against Mahungela, stating that the state’s case was not weak, which negated any argument for exceptional circumstances that might warrant bail.


The high court’s decision reinforces the serious nature of the allegations against Mahungela and the strength of the evidence presented thus far. As the case progresses, the trial court will further examine the details and determine the full extent of Mahungela’s involvement in the tragic death of Kirsten Kluyts.

This case continues to capture public attention, highlighting the judicial process in addressing severe criminal allegations and ensuring that justice is thoroughly pursued.

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