Mpumalanga ANC councillor and 7 others in court for murder

2016-09-06 16:51

Barberton - An ANC councillor and seven others are facing charges of murder, robbery and malicious damage to property after they allegedly killed a man and set a house alight in Barberton, outside Mbombela. 

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Sergeant Gerald Sedibe said that the ANC Ward 45 councillor, together with five other suspects, had appeared briefly in the Barberton Magistrate's Court on Monday, facing charges of robbery, malicious damage to property and the murder of a 30-year-old man on September 3. 

"Eight suspects - three charged with murder and five, including a ward councillor - were charged with malicious damage to property and robbery. Police received a report about a man who was assaulted by three men and when they arrived at the scene, they found him in a critical condition. He was rushed to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries shortly upon arrival," said Sedibe. 

Sedibe said that shortly after the murder, two houses belonging to two of the suspects were set alight by a group of people who were believed to be friends of the deceased.

"Meanwhile, fire and rescue teams were summoned to extinguish the fire, but in the process they were attacked by the group of residents and were chased away. One firefighter was robbed of his firearm and the group proceeded to set alight the fire truck," he added.

A manhunt for the group and the murder suspect was launched, which yielded positive results.

"First to be arrested were the five suspects, including the councillor on Saturday, of which the fifth suspect was brought to book on Monday," said Sedibe.

All five were charged with robbery and malicious damage to property. The three charged with murder were arrested during the early hours of Sunday. 

The suspects - Mandla Mamba, the ward councillor, Sinhle Nkambule, 24, Sabelo Mlothswa, 20, Themba Mweli, 33 and Gift Mnisi, 25 - were remanded in custody until Friday, September 9, pending further investigation. 

The murder suspects - Benedict Mhlanga, 28, Sipho Mbowane, 31, and Boiki Malambe, 30 - were also remanded in custody until September 12 for their bail applications. 

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