Zuma nephew among 11 accused in taxi shooting

2015-09-18 14:37
(Amanda Khoza, News24)

(Amanda Khoza, News24)

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Durban – Taxi boss Mfundo Gcaba, reportedly a nephew of president Jacob Zuma, is among the 11 men accused of being involved in Wednesday’s deadly shooting at a minibus taxi rank.

However advocate Jimmy Howse, representing the 11 suspects who appeared on Friday, claimed the controversial taxi boss was not carrying a firearm when shooting broke out on Wednesday.

The men made their first appearance at the Durban Magistrate’s Court before magistrate Vanitha Armu for their alleged involvement in the deadly shooting at Durban's Brook Street taxi rank.

Three people were shot dead and three were injured when the men opened fire at the Port Shepstone taxi line in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

23 arrests

Police spokesperson Thulani Zwane said more arrests were made on Thursday, but those suspects have not appeared yet. A total of 23 people have now been arrested.

Before the men entered the packed court room on Friday, five heavily armed members of the National Intervention Unit swept the room before taking up position at the two entrances.

One of the Gcaba brothers, Thembinkosi, walked into the court and took a seat.

There was silence as the men took the stand and state prosecutor Barend Groen read out their charges.

“There are only 11 suspects in court today, the 12th is in hospital. The accused in court have been charged with one count of public violence, three counts of murder and one of attempted murder.

“The charges relate to an incident that occurred on 16 September 2015, it is taxi-related,” said Groen.

(Amanda Khoza, News24)

Bail opposed

He said the State was opposing bail and asked the matter to be adjourned to September 23 for a formal bail application. He requested that the men be kept in custody at the Durban Central police station.

Howse, who is representing William Kunene and 11 others, confirmed that one of his clients was still recovering in Addington Hospital.

While he agreed with the charges laid against his clients he said: “I am at this stage satisfied with the State’s evidence that all the charges are based on their possessions of firearms.

"However, I have been informed by accused number 11, Mfundo Gcaba, that in relation to the firearms, he has asked me to place on record that he was not carrying a firearm and as far as he is concerned there is no evidence at this stage against him for his involvement.”

The matter was remanded until September 23 for a formal bail application.

Read more on:    mfundo gcaba  |  durban  |  crime

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