VIP guard tortures man

2010-11-02 00:00

DETAILS of torture and horrific beatings meted out by the bodyguard of the Deputy Mayor of uMgungundlovu District Municipality (UMDM), Tu Zondi, have emerged as police investigate a kidnapping and assault case.

Bodyguard Bheka Mkhize has now been arrested along with his co-accused after they allegedly embarked on an orgy of violent torture to try and get information from men they believed had stolen one of their cars. They also used council’s weapons including an Uzzi and 9 mm pistol to interrogate their victims.

A relative of one of the four victims who were kidnapped and brutally assaulted in the Entabeni area of Dambuza by five men, including the bodyguard, said they now live in fear of reprisals for having opened cases against the suspects.

According to the source — who asked to remain unnamed for fear of victimisation — on September 27, Nkosikhona Khanyile (19), Mthokozisi Ngcobo (24) and Victor Sanele Shezi (28) were visited on separate occasions by six men who abducted them from their homes in Dambuza and drove them two kilometres away from their houses to interrogate them about a white Isuzu Kb, stolen from one of the suspects, Bheki Mbatha (34), earlier.

The informant said one of the victims was “beaten to a pulp by the men, who used the butt of a gun to hit him so that he would tell them where the missing car was”.

“First Khanyile was interrogated, then he was locked in the boot while the suspects drove to fetch Mthokozisi Ngcobo from his home for questioning,” said the source.

Both Khanyile and Ngcobo were then kept in the boot of the vehicle while the third victim, Victor Shezi, was fetched at midnight from his girlfriend’s place.

Hammers, bushknives and wheel spanners were used to beat Shezi, and he was then tied to the back of the bakkie and pulled behind it.

“They even put petrol over him to try and set him alight. He was then left tied up, hanging upside down in a vacant house in Dambuza from 1 am till 10 am on September 28.”

The suspects later returned for Shezi. “He told them that there was a guy at Hammarsdale who may know something about the missing car, so the men drove there and found Sbonelo Cargo Nzuza (24) at the Hammarsdale taxi rank.”

The source said the suspects produced an Uzzi rifle and a 9 mm pistol and ordered Nzuza into a car. They drove him to an open field where he was beaten up, before a Durban Metro Police officer came to his rescue.

A case of being found in possession of firearms whilst under the influence of alcohol was opened against the suspects by Metro police, but it was later struck off the roll until ballistic tests come back from forensic unit.

The source said two days later the victims decided to report the matter to the police.

“Later that day we got information that our brother was at R.K. Khan Hospital in Chatsworth. We went to see him but hardly recognised him because of the terrible beating he had received.”

“We want to see justice done,” added the source.

A sister of one of the victims said they were receiving phone calls from people wanting them to drop the charges against the suspects in return for financial compensation.

Boyo Sihle Zondi was the first to be arrested, then on October 25, Nkosi Mazimbela, Bheki Mbatha, Bheka Mkhize, Simphiwe Bhengu and Thembinkosi Mkhize were all arrested in connection with the beatings.

UMDM Deputy Mayor Tu Zondi said she was unaware of the charges against her bodyguard when approached for comment by The Witness.

“I am shocked to learn about this. All I was told is that Bheka Mkhize is sick and sorting things out at home.”

She said the law must take its course.

Police Spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan confirmed the incident and said all six suspects are still in custody. She said they have been charged with kidnapping and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

“The case was remanded for November 12. The suspects will remain in custody until that date,” said Jeevan.

No cases of car theft have been opened against the victims.


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