NFP hails member’s sentence

2012-10-27 00:00

THE National Freedom Party (NFP) has welcomed the sentencing of one of its Emnambithi/Ladysmith Local Municipality councillors who was found guilty in a murder case this week.

NFP proportional representation councillor Nqabeni Mbatha was found guilty and sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment at the eDukuza regional court, Bergville, on Wednesday.

NFP provincial chairperson Vikizitha Mlotshwa confirmed that Mbatha had been sentenced to long-term imprisonment.

“He was found guilty and was sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment on Wednesday,” he said.

Mbatha, a principal of Siphimfundo High School in Ekuvukeni near Dundee at the time of his arrest, had paid a hitman R20 000 from school funds to murder his deputy, Sabelo Mkhize, in December 2006. The hitman was arrested and he testified against Mbatha before he was jailed for 30 years.

Mbatha was later arrested for murder and fraud and was granted R5 000 bail.

Mlotshwa said Mbatha’s case had been going on for about two and half years before it was finally concluded this week.

“It was alleged that he hired people to kill someone. It is something that has to do with the school,” he said. Mlotshwa also said Mbatha had faced the murder charge long before he became a member of the NFP.

“When he became a councillor of the NFP he was already facing a murder charge that was committed while he was still a school principal. In fact at the time of the murder he was a member of the Inkatha Freedom Party and was not even a councillor,” Mlotshwa said.

He also said the NFP welcomed the court’s verdict and sentencing of Mbatha.

“Since he has been found guilty of murder we in the NFP regard him as a murderer. He must be taken to prison where he must rot.”

Mlotshwa said Mbatha would now be replaced as a councillor by the NFP member on top of the candidate list.

• mayibongwe.maqhina

@witness.co.za

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