THREE suspects appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court last Friday on charges of murder, hijacking and kidnapping. The accused, Thobani Madondo (27), Nsizwazonke Mncube (31) and Philani Malinga (21), appeared before Magistrate M. Boikhutso following their arrest after the murder of Muziwamadoda Nkandi (69), from Sweetwaters and the kidnapping and hijacking of Njabulo Ndlovu. Nkandi was shot and killed in front of his wife on 28 June at his home where it is alleged the three men broke in and tried to steal his Nissan bakkie. According to Plessislaer police station spokesperson, Captain Musa Ntombela, the suspects planned to steal the bakkie to execute another robbery. “When they got to his residence one of the suspects (also from Sweetwaters) called out Nkandi’s name and as he came out to investigate they pointed a firearm at him and demanded he give them the keys to the bakkie.” It is further alleged Nkandi ran back into the house and one of the suspects followed him and fired shots, fatally wounding him. The suspects then used cable ties to tie up Nkandi’s wife before ransacking his house and made away with electrical appliances, the bakkie log book, and spare keys. When the bakkie stalled during their robbery, the suspects fled in a getaway car and just over six kilometres away hijacked Njabulo Ndlovu along Caluza road. “The suspects hijacked a VW Polo and put the driver in the boot of the vehicle and drove off with him. Fortunately, he followed the conversation of where the suspects were headed and used his cellphone to alert the police, who later apprehended the suspects at the Sasol garage in Archie Gumede Drive.” Ntombela said one suspect escaped and is still on the run. The case is proceeding. The suspects will appear in court again tomorrow for a formal bail application.