Murder:two NFP officials on trial

2014-04-16 00:00

TWO National Freedom Party (NFP) officials are on trial in the Pietermaritzburg High Court for the 2012 murder of the NFP chairperson of the Nqutu constituency in northern KwaZulu-Natal, Thulebona Nhlabela.

Accused are Mkhonzeni Ntuli (37), who was a representative of the NFP in Msinga at the time, and Felamandla Mkhize (56), who was deputy mayor of Umzinyathi District Municipality, according to the state’s indictment.

Both pleaded not guilty before Judge Trevor Gorven to Nhlabela’s murder on July 6, 2012.

The state alleges that some time before the incident, a dispute arose within the party regarding positions in the NFP hierarchy in Umzinyathi district.

It’s alleged the accused decided to resolve the conflict by killing Nhlabela and procured the services of Khawulani Mkhize and two other assailants to carry out their plan.

On the Friday morning in question, Mkhize and his co-perpetrators allegedly followed Nhlabela, who was travelling in a bakkie. When he stopped at the gates of Hazeldene Farm, the assailants approached him and shot him while he was still seated in the vehicle. He died of multiple gunshot injuries.

Mkhize, who pleaded guilty in September 2012 and is serving an 18-year jail sentence for his role in the murder, is testifying for the state in the trial.

In his guilty plea he said he did not personally take part in shooting Nhlabela but had transported the killers to and from the murder scene.

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