Bodyguard let go in N3 shooting

2013-12-19 00:00

THE case against two of the uMgungundlovu district mayor’s bodyguards took another turn yesterday when the charge of pointing and discharging a firearm was dropped against one of the accused.

Sthembiso Mokoena (40) looked relaxed yesterday in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court when he heard the case against him was being dropped, leaving Thulasizwe Dennis Mbanjwa (39) alone in the dock.

National Prosecution Authority spokesperson Natasha Ramkisoon-Kara said the senior public prosecutor found that the charge of pointing and discharging a firearm could only be proven against Mbanjwa.

Initially, the charge was attempted murder for both Mbanjwa and Mokoena. This after they allegedly fired shots at Wynand Rautenbach’s car on the N3 near the Mariannhill toll plaza in October. Due to lack of evidence, the charge was then changed to one of discharging a weapon in a public place.

The two bodyguards said Rautenbach had failed to give way to Mayor Yusuf Bhamjee’s entourage and that they had the right to shoot.

Their attorney Sphiwe Mncwango said the matter was delayed for the most part of yesterday morning after the state announced dropping the charge against Mokoena.

“We are happy that finally the public will have an opportunity to hear our side of the story,” said Mncwango yesterday.

The trial date was set for February 18 next year. Two defence witnesses are expected to be called during the trial.

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