Date set for Sadtu whistle-blower killing trial

2015-02-19 11:34

The murder trial of six KwaZulu-Natal South Coast men accused of murdering whistle-blower and school principal Nkosinathi Zondi will finally go ahead in the Durban High Court in October.

The six – education department Ugu (Lower South Coast) regional director Mfundi Sibiya, Ugu school principals Lungani Mkhize, Xolani Myeza and Mhlengi Luthuli and alleged hitmen Andile Zulu and Lungisani Makhoba – made a brief appearance in the Durban High Court yesterday for the trial date of October 19 to be set.

The out-on-bail accused mingled with Zondi’s family members and comrades from the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu), for which Zondi had been elected Ugu chairperson two weeks before his death for several hours while a part-heard matter was concluded in courtroom B.

The killing has escalated tensions and paranoia in the trade union, which had already been divided by the hard-fought Ugu election campaign in 2013, which saw Zondi being elected on an anti-corruption ticket. He had received several death threats before his election and was shot dead on his return to his uMlazi home after a week at work at Nyonemhlophe Primary School at Mtwalume near Port Shepstone.

Sibiya, Mkhize, Myeza and Luthuli are all, or have been, Sadtu activists, and were at some time involved in the same union regional structures as Zondi. The union’s former provincial secretary, Mbuyiseni Mathonsi, is among the witnesses who will be called by the prosecution when the trial goes ahead.

Makhoba and Zulu are in police custody while the rest of the accused are out on bail.

According to the initial indictment, Mkhize the chairperson of the Khathi High School’s governing body, allegedly acted as a go between for Sibiya, who wanted Zondi dead, and the hitmen. A third alleged shooter, Ndolile Shezi, has turned state witness.

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