Mob act: sergeant to remain in custody

2012-03-20 00:00

A POLICE sergeant arrested for murder and attempted murder linked to vigilantism in Mbali over the weekend must remain in custody for a week.

State prosecutor Sally Singh requested this in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday so that Sergeant Sithembiso Gwala (42) could be available for an identification parade.

She also said he would be a threat to witnesses.

However, Gwala’s attorney, Yunus Bhamjee, said: “He is a police officer; he will obey the order of the court.”

He said the state had failed to answer why only Gwala had been arrested when it was a mob that had carried out a vigilante attack during the early hours of Friday morning.

Shortly beforehand the victims had shown the mob where they had hidden things they had stolen, including Gwala’s firearm.

Gwala lives in Unit 18, Imbali, and is stationed at the Town Hill police station.

According to the charge sheet, he is charged with the murder of Sphamandla Majola and the attempted murder of Sibongiseni Mazibuko, who was hit on the head with an axe.

Magistrate Reard Abrahams said the state would have to conduct its identification parade within seven days.

People from Gwala’s neighbourhood packed the court and expressed dissatisfaction at the ruling.

After his arrest on Friday they had staged a sit-in at Plessislaer police station, saying they too should be arrested if Gwala were held.

The case was postponed to Monday next week.

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