Court releases IFP accused

2013-02-12 17:47

Pietermaritzburg - Five IFP members were released on Tuesday after the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg found that charges of murder and attempted murder could not be proved.

Zwelempi Gumede, 71, IFP councillor Fumakosi Gumede, 41, Mephatimeni Gumede, 41, Busani Gumede, 29, and Qapekini Gumede, 21, were accused after an ANC member was shot dead and seven wounded during an election victory celebration in April 2009.

The African National Congress members were in a motorcade in an Inkatha Freedom Party stronghold in Swayimani in Camperdown when they were shot at.

Zemaile Hlongwane was shot dead and the seven wounded ANC members were taken to various hospitals.

A witness testifying for the State alleged that three of the accused had fired at the motorcade.

She later said five people were involved, but under cross-examination admitted that she had tried to mislead the court.

The IFP group's lawyer Russell Hand, applied for the five to be discharged because the State witness had not given convincing evidence.

Judge M Xolo ordered that Zwelempi's licensed shotgun be returned to him and that licensed weapons and cellphones seized by police from the men be returned to them.

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