Mayor’s bodyguard charged with ANC man’s murder

2019-06-26 06:02

A BODYGUARD of Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo appeared briefly in the Camperdown Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday charged with the 2017 murder of an ANC politician.

Nkosinathi Nqayi (35) is alleged to have murdered Lungisani Mnguni (34) at Enkanyezeni near the Lion Park on November 20. He has not pleaded to the charge and will appear in Camperdown again next week, pending a possible bail application.

Nqayi also earlier on Tuesday appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court charged with being in possession of four live rounds of rifle ammunition and one 9 mm round of live ammunition.

He is represented by Pietermaritzburg attorney Phumlani Fakude, who confirmed that Nqayi was arrested on Friday while on duty at the mayoral house in Bisley. He was arrested by the task team investigating political killings in the province.

It is also alleged he lost an Msunduzi R5 assault rifle, according to Fakude, but he has not yet been formally charged with this.

The team also arrested a local police constable, Sakhumuzi Makhaya, on Friday, who appeared in court separately from Nqayi.

Makhaya was charged with being in possession of a firearm, ammunition and defeating the administration of justice. Seven exhibit bags belonging to the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit — which contain evidence from crime scenes — were allegedly found at Makhaya’s home. He has also been remanded in custody until next week.

The murdered politician Mnguni was an ANC Ward 7 branch executive committee member in the Mkhambathini Municipality and had been elected to be a delegate to the December 2017 ANC elective conference.

Mnguni, who was also a taxi owner, had won a school nutrition programme tender and was on his way to deliver food to schools in the area when he was shot. Police said at the time that he was followed by “unknown people” while making deliveries at schools.

He got out of the car and tried to run away as he was being shot at. He then jumped into a nearby stream, where police found his body. Six bullet cartridges were found on the scene, it was reported at the time.

The Witness reported ANC leaders in the area at the time said the branch had endorsed ANC presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Mnguni was going to vote on behalf of the branch at the conference.

Dlamini-Zuma and the then ANC deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, were the contenders in the race to replace President Jacob Zuma as party leader at the conference.

Maqatha murder: Ballistics reports do not link Msunduzi ward councillor Gambu and his alleged accomplices to the murder scene.

— PAGE 2

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