Former bodyguard given bail of R3?000

2010-02-12 00:00

FORMER mayoral bodyguard Nkosi Ngubelanga (32) was granted R3 000 bail yesterday by a regional court magistrate when he appeared in court in connection with murder and attempted murder charges dating back to 1999.

The court heard that Ngubelanga was arrested in January last year in connection with another murder charge — of which he has since been acquitted — and the authorities apparently then discovered a warrant for his arrest had been issued on January 30, 2006, when he failed to appear in court in connection with the 1999 offences.

According to Ngubelanga’s evidence yesterday before regional magistrate Riaan de Wet, he was already employed as a mayoral bodyguard in 2006 and didn’t go to court that day because he was working.

He said he approached the investigating officer the next day who told him the case was “disposed of”.

Ngubelanga told the court yesterday he believes that if he is given bail he will be able to resume his employment.

His advocate, Brad Osborne, said the case against Ngubelanga has been on the court roll for more than 10 years and is still only part- heard.

Two of his former co-accused have died, some state witnesses have died and one of his former co-accused has been acquitted in the interim.

De Wet said during his judgment yesterday he finds it “scary” that for three years from 2006 to 2009 no attempts were made to arrest Ngubelanga even though he continued with his job as a mayoral guard, and according to his evidence lived “under the noses” of police in the Plessislaer area.

He said that if Ngubelanga had wanted to flee at that stage and evade his trial in this matter he could have done so, but didn’t.

De Wet said the investigating officer “did not bother” to come to court yesterday to oppose the accused’s bail application, which had been adjourned on several occasions since February 2.

He said the prosecutor was told the investigating officer was aware of the bail application and tried to contact him without success.

He said there is no evidence on record therefore to rebut the testimony given by Ngubelanga in support of his request for bail.

Having regard to all these factors, he found exceptional circumstances existed permitting him to be granted bail subject to certain conditions.

Ngubelanga is charged in the case with the murder of Tumelo Khadi at Dambuza on July 24, 1999, as well as unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition and seven counts of attempted murder.

The alleged offences occured at a time of political unrest between the ANC and the United Democratic Movement.

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