Politician the link in Msinga shootings

2012-09-07 00:00

A KZN task team this week linked two suspects to cases of political assassinations in the Msinga area.

Former Umzinyathi District Municipality deputy mayor Felamandla Mkhize and his co-accused, Mkhonzeni Ntuli, appeared in the Dundee Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, charged with the murder of NFP councillor Isaac Nhlebela (48) on July 6.

Both were remanded in custody until September 10 for a bail application.

Mkhize (58) and Ntuli (37) are also in custody for the killing of Bongani Shelembe (53), who was killed in the Msinga area in May. They appeared in the Msinga Magistrate’s Court yesterday on two counts of attempted murder and one of murder. The hearing was adjourned to October 15.

Provincial police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said the first case of attempted murder was opened by Isaac Nhlebela at the Msinga police station in April 2011, after he was attacked and shot at by unknown people. He did not sustain any injuries.

On the morning of July 6, Nhlebela was with his two sons when his car was riddled with bullets between Dundee and Nquthu. He was killed on the spot, His sons escaped without injury.

The second attempted murder case was opened by Thulani Mhlongo, Msinga’s then municipal corporate services manager in May 2009. Mhlongo said he was driving in the Msinga area with his friends when they were shot at and wounded and were treated in hospital.

Mkhize handed himself over to the police in July 23 in connection with the murders of Shelembe and Nhlebela after four suspects — all NFP members — had been arrested and charged wityh the murders. Nonsindiso Dlamini (22), Mkhonzeni Ntuli (37), Mlindeli Mchunu (31) and Mzonjani Mgwaba (41), appeared in the Msinga Magistrate’s Court on July 16.

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