Police verifying claims of KZN speaker's 'bodyguard'

2017-02-14 18:22
30-year-old Tshepo Mabusela. (Supplied)

30-year-old Tshepo Mabusela. (Supplied)

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Johannesburg - A KwaZulu-Natal man charged with murder and attempted murder is out on bail while police are still investigating whether the facts he gave in his bail application are true or not.

On Tuesday morning, the Alexandra Magistrate’s Court heard that police needed more time to verify details about Sibusiso Patrick Khumalo, including his place of employment.

This was after the uMzumbe local municipality in KwaZulu-Natal presented police with a document stating that Khumalo was not its employee.

The matter was postponed to February 28, when the State is expected to continue with its case against Khumalo.

He is accused of shooting and killing Tshepo Mabusela, 30, and injuring Thapelo Mariki, 35, at a 24-hour pizza outlet in Rivonia, Sandton, in the early hours of January 9.

Khumalo and three others were arrested in Alexandra that day. Among those initially arrested for the crimes was the speaker of the uMzumbe council, Matho Shozi. After further investigations, Shozi and two others were released and only Khumalo was charged.

During his formal bail application last month, Khumalo told the court he worked for the uMzumbe municipality as Shozi’s driver and bodyguard. Investigating officer, Constable Aubrey Tshisani, confirmed this. He said Khumalo used a licensed firearm in the shooting and that two witnesses pointed him out during an identity parade.

He said police had the pizza outlet's CCTV footage. Khumalo had a previous conviction from 2002 for stolen property and lived in Cato Manor, Durban.

Both the State and police said it was in the interests of justice to grant Khumalo bail because he had not denied being the shooter, nor was he a flight risk.

He intended pleading not guilty to the charges. In an affidavit he said he would argue that he acted in self-defence because the two victims had assaulted him and his colleague.

Khumalo was released on R2 000 bail.

‘Why did you have to kill him?’

Shozi had not responded to repeated calls and messages asking for comment from News24. However, she told the South Coast Herald she was at the scene of the crime. She denied knowing Khumalo.

The municipality’s spokesperson, Trevor Khanyile, had repeatedly told News24 that Khumalo was not one of its employees.

“It is still unclear as to why he claims as such,” he said.

He said the only municipal councillor with a bodyguard was the mayor. Khanyile confirmed that one of the people with Khumalo and Shozi worked as the speaker’s driver.

Khumalo shot Mabusela and Mariki after a fight broke out between them and Khumalo’s colleague at the pizza outlet between 02:00 and 03:00.

Both men were taken to a nearby hospital. Mabusela succumbed to his injuries. Mariki was discharged after about a month.

His wife Lala told News24 outside court on Tuesday that when she heard her husband had been shot, she feared that their three children would grow up without their father.

Lala and Mariki have been together for 17 years. Their children are aged 10, nine, and five months.

All she knew about what happened on the day was based on what their mutual friends had told her. She said Mariki was still struggling to come to terms with what happened. When he was ready to talk about it, she would listen.

For now, she was focusing on giving him support and taking care of their young family, she said.

Mabusela’s mother Nursia, said she did not get to see Khumalo make his appearance in court because it happened so quickly. She would have asked him why he had to kill her son.

“Why did you have to kill him? Why did you have to play with a life like it’s something cheap? That’s what I would have asked him.”

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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