Heavy police presence at Durban court for IFP murder case

By Drum Digital
17 October 2012

There was a heavy police presence at the Durban Regional Court on Wednesday ahead of two politically charged cases that have resulted in the deaths of two IFP members.

Both matters were originally meant to be heard in the Ntuzuma Magistrate's Court, but were moved to the Durban court at the eleventh hour due to security concerns.

Durban's Somtseu Road was closed off by police and riot police were blocking the entrance to the court building as Inkatha Freedom Party supporters and National Freedom Party supporters gathered outside.

Four men -- Bonginhlanhla Gwala, Bhungu Mgezeni Gwala, Mjabulelwa Gwala, and Malusi Sibusiso Ncengwa -- had been expected to bring their bail application, but the matter was postponed as the defence counsel of one of the four was not available.

Their formal bail application will now be heard on October 25 in the Durban Regional Court.

They are accused of killing Cebesile Shezi.

Shezi, who was wearing an IFP T-shirt, was shot dead near the Thembalihle railway station in KwaMashu shortly after Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa addressed IFP supporters at a sports field in A-section, KwaMashu on October 6.

At their first appearance in the Ntuzuma Magistrate's Court on Monday, IFP supporter Siyabonga Dlamini was allegedly shot dead by an NFP eThekwini councillor in full view of police and television cameras.

The councillor, Mzonjani Zulu, appeared briefly in the same court, moments before the four men.

His case was postponed to November 5 for a formal bail hearing.

After the appearance of the five men, Durban Regional Court Magistrate Trevor Levitt praised the conduct of the public in court. He urged the supporters to keep up the good behaviour at future appearances of the men.

He also thanked police for ensuring the safety of all.

Access to Court L was strictly controlled by heavily armed members of the police national intervention unit.

Riot vehicles and a water cannon were on standby.

People who gathered outside court in the morning began dispersing at 11.30am.

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