Accused says he’s Zweli’s son

2015-04-24 00:00

A MAN accused of kidnapping and attempted murder has dragged the name of ANC treasurer and former KZN premier Zweli Mkhize into the matter.

Sifiso Mkhize (38) told arresting officers and his victim that he was the senior ANC ­member’s son.

Sifiso, his wife Nompumelelo “Lelo” Zondi (39) and three others were arrested on Tuesday and appeared in the Camperdown Magistrate’s Court charged with kidnapping and attempted murder.

It is alleged that they poured boiling water on Ameer Khan over a money transfer deal gone wrong.

Mkhize’s family have distanced themselves from the Ashburton-based Sifiso, ­saying he is just someone trying to use the ­family’s name.

Sifiso’s lawyer Mzwandile Tenza told The Witness he had been asked to ensure that ­Sifiso’s children were given the instruction to go to Mkhize’s Willowfontein home in ­Pietermaritzburg.

The story circles around R240 000 which allegedly came into the country via an offshore account.

According to Khan’s son Naeem Abdul, ­Sifiso had approached his dad to find a person who would receive the money and disburse it to him. In return Khan would get a car to be purchased on a “pay as you want” basis.

But on Monday, Sifiso had yet to receive all his money. In an effort to hurry up the deal, he allegedly picked up Khan, with Khan ­expected to put pressure on the third person in the transfer, only known as “Gerard” from Durban.

Sifiso, Zondi, Vernon Khumalo (23), Paulos Mthuana (49) and Khan waited at the Engen 1 Stop on the N2 for the deal to be concluded.

But by 4 pm, Sifiso and his cohorts allegedly became agitated and assaulted Khan before throwing him in a car and heading for a house in Chesterville, Durban.

At this home Khan was allegedly bound and beaten, had boiling water repeatedly thrown on his head and face while allegedly being ­threatened with his life if an outstanding R90 000 was not paid into Sifiso’s account by 10 am on Tuesday.

“He told my father he can do anything he wants because his father is Zweli MkhizeHe said he had people in parliament and the justice department and would only ever be in jail for two hours if arrested. They asked him he wanted coffee before emptying the contents of the kettle on him,” said Abdul.

Abdul, who had been in contact with his ­father during the ordeal, called the police the next morning.

“If it wasn’t for the quick response by ­Warrant Officers Andrew Brown and Deon Fleming, who found my dad by 10 am, it could have been too late,” he said.

The police stormed the Chesterville home, arresting all four suspects and rescuing Khan.

Sources said that Sifiso had also claimed to police that he is Mkhize’s son.

Khan is currently in ICU at an undisclosed hospital after suffering a mild heart attack ­yesterday.

At Sifiso and his fellow accused’s court ­appearance, the matter was postponed for ­seven days for further investigation, with a bail ­hearing to be held next week.

Lawyer Tenza said his clients would plead not guilty.

“We were friends with Sifiso and his wife and had helped them get a home in Ashburton. He always claimed to be Zweli Mkhize’s son,” said Abdul.

When The Witness called a number belonging to Mkhize, a Thami Mkhize, who said he was the ANC official’s relative, said they had no knowledge of Sifiso, his wife or children.

“We don’t know that guy. We know nothing about this.”

Thami said he had contacted Zweli Mkhize’s wife, May, to confirm this.

Attempts to get comment directly from ­Zweli Mkhize were unsuccessful.

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