ANC let down by withdrawal of murder charge

2014-03-17 18:56
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Durban - Charges against a man accused of killing the ANC's eThekwini regional secretary Sbu Sibiya in 2011 were withdrawn in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban on Monday.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson-Kara said the charges against Xolani Zulu were dropped after the State's only witness in the case died in the Eastern Cape in January.

Sibiya was killed in a hail of bullets when he entered his home in Inanda, outside Durban, in July 2011.

Police offered a R50 000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of Sibiya's killers.

Zulu was initially denied bail, but on appeal was granted bail of R15 000 in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban in December 2011.

Another suspect in the Sibiya murder, Zamani Sikhakhane, was killed during a shoot-out with the police.

Sikhakhane's landlord Bongani Tembe and policeman Warrant Officer Rakesh Maharaj also died in the shoot-out.

In a statement on Monday, ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said the party was extremely disappointed as Zulu had been about to go on trial.

"The ANC is taken aback and deeply let down by this turn of events.

"We have been advised that the reason for the withdrawal was the death of the key witness who was killed in the Eastern Cape in January this year. This naturally raises many questions, including why the witness was not placed in protective custody," he said.

The ANC demanded that investigations into Sibiya's death as well as that of the witness be carried out by police.

"We call on the national minister of police, comrade Nathi Mthethwa, to immediately set up a specialised task team to provide co-ordinated direction and assistance for both investigations," Zikalala said.

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