Mayor’s bodyguard charged

2016-12-15 12:14
Man accused of attempted murder after incident at club; denies shooting friend.

Man accused of attempted murder after incident at club; denies shooting friend. (File)

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Msunduzi mayoral bodyguard Nkosinathi Nqayi (31) appeared in court Wednesday charged with attempted murder following a shooting incident at the upmarket 033 Lifestyle Club in Imbali at the weekend.

Nqayi, bodyguard of Mayor Themba Njilo, denies, however, that he was the aggressor in the case, and according to his lawyer, Senzile Makhanya of Fakude & Associates, he opened a counter charge against the alleged victim in the matter, Andile Ngcobo.

A source said the men were “well known” to one another and were socialising together before the alleged shooting incident, which was sparked by an argument.

Nqayi was granted bail of R1 000 by Pietermaritzburg magistrate M. Boikhutso after state prosecutor Rene Padayachee confirmed that the police were not opposed to his release on bail.

He was, however, ordered to relocate from his present home address in Dambuza to an alternative address in Imbali, and was warned not to interfere with or try to intimidate any witnesses or Ngcobo.

The case was postponed to February 1 next year pending further investigations by police.

The tall, burly bodyguard, dressed casually in khaki coloured clothing, stood calmly while his attorney briefly outlined his version of the events to the court.

She told the court that Nqayi has no previous convictions or pending cases against him.

She said that according to Nqayi, Ngcobo was in fact “never shot at”. Instead he alleges that Ngcobo was the aggressor and attacked him.

As the two men struggled for possession of the gun, shots went off.

“The accused [Nqayi] disarmed the complainant [Ngcobo] of his firearm and then used the firearm to assault the complainant. He did not shoot him,” Makhanya told the magistrate.

She added that Nqayi alleges he had overpowered Ngcobo and taken away his gun after he tried to shoot at him first.

Nqayi admits, however, that he had assaulted Ngcobo “badly on the head” with the gun after he managed to get hold of the firearm.

In reply, the prosecutor said the state was not aware of any counter charge that was laid by Nqayi against Ngcobo. “The complainant [Ngcobo] was in fact shot and he is still in hospital,” she said.

Padayachee said the facts briefly revealed that Nqayi, Ngcobo and friends were together at the 033 Lifestyle Club drinking and socialising when the incident occurred on Sunday.

“It seems the accused [Nqayi] had an argument with Ngcobo and he then allegedly shot at him. When the complainant [Ngcobo] tried to defend himself he allegedly shot him again,” she said.

Padayachee said she did not know how severe Ngcobo’s injuries are but said he was reportedly still in hospital yesterday.

Nqayi’s attorney said he had handed himself over to the police on Monday following the shooting.

At the same time he laid a counter charge against Ngcobo and also handed over Ngcobo’s firearm, which was still in his possession at the time, to the police.

According to an affidavit, Nqayi is unmarried but is the father of two children.

Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha was asked yesterday what steps, if any, will be taken against Nqayi by the municipality.

In reply she stated: “The case is sub judice. The law will be allowed to take its course.”

Meanwhile, SAPS spokesperson Mthokozisi Ngobese confirmed that police opened two attempted murder dockets in connection with the incident — one by Ngcobo against Nqayi and a counter charge by the bodyguard against Ngcobo.

Msunduzi and other bodyguards from the VIP Protection Units are no strangers to controversy.

Over the years a number of bodyguards have fallen foul of the law.

In 2008 The Witness reported that a bodyguard of the deputy mayor, Sherwin Naidoo was charged along with Collin Gous with kidnapping and illegal possession of firearms for allegedly kidnapping a man to extort money he owed for drugs.

In April 2009 bodyguards of then Msunduzi mayor, Zanele Hlatswayo were allegedly involved in an incident where a woman motorist was “harassed”, forced off the N3 at Camperdown and allegedly spat at by one of the guards.

In 2013 there were media reports that two bodyguards of the Umgungundlovu district mayor, Yusuf Bhamjee had opened fire on a motorist on the N3 and were charged with attempted murder.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  court case

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