Breakthrough in murder of former provincial arts and culture spokesperson

2011-04-04 14:54

Mpumalanga police have apparently made a breakthrough in the murder of former provincial arts and culture spokesperson Sammy Mpatlanyane.

Mpatlanyane was shot dead at his Stonehenge house, Nelspruit in January 2010 in what some believe to be a political assassination.

Two men have been arrested in connection with the murder, but Mpumalanga police have kept the arrests under wraps in an apparent attempt to prevent embarrassment.

This after questions were raised about arrests made in connection with the assassination of former Mbombela speaker Jimmy Mohlala.

Provincial police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Leonard Hlathi would only confirm that police had arrested a Mozambican and Tanzanian national in connection with the Mpatlanyane murder.

“Due to the sensitivity of this case, we would not want to reveal their names even though they have appeared in court,” Hlathi said.

He could not say whether Mpatlanyane’s murder was politically motivated.Police arrested five suspects in October last year in connection with Mohlala’s assassination.

Mohlala was shot dead at his KaNyamazane home in January 2009.He was fighting tender corruption with regard to the R1.2 billion Mbombela stadium at the time of his death.

Police officers Dumisani Stanley Mhlanga (34) and Musa Finish Mkhabela (31) as well as Jenny Mabika (58), her son, Sakhile (31), and Moses Mahungela (33) are set to appear in the KaBokweni Magistrate’s Court on May 26 for a trial date in the high court to be set.

The police’s case against the five is based on an affidavit written by Mabika’s other son, Evans, almost two years after the incident. He claims the murder was planned at his mother’s house in Matsulu.

Mhlanga and Mkhabela were fired from their jobs last month, and details revealed during the internal disciplinary hearing has apparently weakened the case against the suspects.

Evans’s affidavit claims that a police-owned white Chevrolet allocated to Mkhabela was used when the hit was carried out, but according to police records Mkhabela was allocated a Mazda 323 around that time.

Automobile Vehicle Location system records that were presented to the disciplinary committee also do not prove that the vehicle went to the street where Mohlala’s home is.

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