Bodyguard gets life for killing IFP’s Cele

2011-07-18 00:00

A FORMER bodyguard who admitted he shot and killed his Inkatha Freedom Party employer at Mandini in northern KZN on the instructions of others who promised to pay him R240 000 was sentenced to life imprisonment by high court Judge David Ntshangase on Friday.

Jimbo Khulekani Cele (25) pleaded guilty to murdering IFP councillor Simon Shange at KwaMapatha, Mandini, on February 3 this year.

He also offered to testify against Shange’s ANC rival in the recent local government elections, Thokizani Mdletshe (34), whom he named in a statement to court as one of the people behind the murder and who is due to stand trial in the matter soon.

In his statement Cele said he was approached in January by Mdletshe and Zibuse Makhoba who “flicked lights” to stop him while he was travelling to Durban.

“Thokozani and Zibuse belonged to the African National Congress. They told me the deceased has a lot of support from the community and he will give them problems during the local government elections … Shange was a councillor in Ward 5, representing the IFP.”

Cele said the men asked him to give them information about Shange’s whereabouts so they could kill him. However, they “did not agree on anything” on that occasion.

He said he in fact reported the discussion to Shange who told him he had also been receiving death threats on his cellphone. Shange offered Cele a job as his bodyguard.

En route to Richards Bay on another day he again met up with Mdletshe and Zibuse, who offered him R240 000 for information about Shange and on that occasion he agreed to help them. However, he said it was never agreed that he would have to shoot Shange himself.

At the beginning of February Mdletshe telephoned him and Cele informed him that Shange would be going to a place called Ndulinde. Mdletshe suggested that this was be a “good opportunity to kill [Shange]” .

On February 3 while Cele and Shange were travelling to the home of a traditional healer, Thokozani Mdletshe, Zibuse and Khetha Mdletshe stopped Shange’s vehicle and asked for a lift. After they boarded the vehicle he saw Thokozani take out a firearm and direct the vehicle towards Ndulinde.

At a certain spot Mdletshe instructed them to alight from the vehicle and they did so. He then took Shange’s gun, cellphone and wallet and handed the firearm to Cele, instructing him to shoot Shange. “I did not respond but I did as Thokozani instructed me,” he said. Cele said he was never paid for what he did.

Judge Ntshangase found there were no compelling or substantial circumstances that would justify a lesser sentence than the prescribed life imprisonment for the premeditated killing.

He said Shange entrusted his life to Cele by offering him work as his bodyguard. While accepting it was not part of the initial agreement that Cele was to shoot Shange, he carried out the agreement to give information and said Cele’s expectation to be paid for what he did added to the heinousness of the crime.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.