Man admits killing cop

2012-04-18 00:00

A MARGATE police reservist who shot and killed a Margate policeman and his friend in March 2010 will be convicted and sentenced in the high court in Ramsgate today.

During his murder trial yesterday, Sibonela Ian Musha (27) changed his plea from not guilty, claiming to have been acting in self-defence.

The state charged Musha with two counts of murder and one of attempted murder.

Monica Silindile Cele (21) and Sipho Philip Danca (27) were killed at the scene of the shooting on March 27, 2010, in Qinabout, Gamalakhe, outside Port Shepstone.

Queen Gushu (25) escaped unharmed after shots were also fired at her.

The shooting took place at the home of her sister, Cynthia.

Musha attempted to commit suicide following the attack by shooting himself in the mouth.

The motive for the shooting is unknown. The accused was friends with the victims.

State prosecutor Adelaide Watt called 16 witnesses on Monday and yesterday to testify in the state’s case against Musha.

Her last witness, Dr Irshaad Khan, who performed the post-mortems on the victims, said Cele was killed with a single gunshot to the back at close range.

Danca was shot in the hand from the front and then shot multiple times in the back from a distance.

Watt argued that shots in self-defence were not fired at the backs of victims.

During an adjournment yesterday the accused met his attorney and mother behind closed doors. When they returned, the woman went to her seat and started to cry.

Musha, who was out on bail, approached her an attempt to console her but she avoided looking at him.

When proceedings resumed, defence attorney Calvin Singh informed magistrate Greg Kruger that his client had changed his plea to guilty.

Singh asked the magistrate for the matter to be adjourned to today to prepare for his case.

“I also ask that my client’s bail be extended to tomorrow so that he may spend his last day with his seven minor children,” he asked.

“While he was out on bail he did not intimidate any witnesses or engage in any acts of violence,” Singh added.

Watt argued that the circumstances of Musha’s bail had changed with the plea changing to guilty.

“It is in the interest of justice and the interest of the accused that bail is not extended and the accused is remanded in custody,” she said.

In denying the extension of bail, magistrate Kruger said: “Following the proceedings in court the accused made a wise decision to change his plea.

“While the accused showed no signs of aggression, I am fully cognisant that the accused did attempt to kill himself previously. The accused will be detained at the Paddock holding cells where his family can visit and spend time with him.”

When the hearing was adjourned Musha and his mother became emotional and hugged each other and cried before he was taken into custody.

• witness@feveronline.co.za

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