ANCYL man admits he had Coast ANC leader murdered

2012-09-18 00:00

THE chairperson of a South Coast ANC Youth League branch pleaded guilty in the high court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday to the murder of the ruling party’s branch chairperson in his area.

Sifiso Khumalo, of Oshabeni, is due to be sentenced by Acting Judge S. ­Mngomezulu today for the murder of Dumisani Malunga.

The ANC last night expressed hope that a harsh sentence would be imposed.

When he took the witness stand yesterday, Khumalo apologised to the family of Bheko Chiliza, who he said had been an “innocent” second victim of the shooting.

Khumalo expressed remorse for his actions, and said he had co-operated with the police and was prepared to testify for the state against his co-conspirators.

He said in a statement read out by his legal aid lawyer, Ishi Khan, that he and Malunga were among four ANC members vying for the position of ward councillor for Oshabeni.

“A fellow ANC member, Samuel Hle Cele, had proposed my candidacy for the vacant ANC ward councillor’s position, and he was responsible for canvassing in my favour.

“About two weeks before the deceased was killed, Cele informed me that the deceased was a stumbling block to my election as ward councillor.

“Cele suggested that the deceased should be killed, and I agreed with his suggestion,” said Khumalo.

He said that on September 9, he and Cele met a man known to him as “Alex”.

While seated in Cele’s minibus taxi, they formed a plan to kill Malunga.

Khumalo said the plan was for Cele to point out Malunga to Alex, who would shoot him.

The men drove to Oshabeni in the mini­bus, and Cele and Alex alighted in the vicinity of Malunga’s home.

Cele told Khumalo he would call him to pick them up after they had killed Malunga.

Khumalo drove off and Cele called him about 30 minutes later.

He fetched Cele and Alex, and was told that Alex had shot Malunga “and another male” who was with him.

He later discovered that person was Chiliza, an ANC member.

Khumalo told the court that Alex was still at large, but Cele was in custody.

The ANC said Cele was due to appear in court again tomorrow.

ANC provincial spokesperson Senzo Mchunu congratulated the police for their “swift” arrests and said the ANC was calling for a harsh sentence for Khumalo.

Mchunu said the sentence should serve as a deterrent to others.

“The ANC deplores the killing of our comrades and we call on ANC leaders and members to unite against killers,” he said.

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