Politicians hired killers - claim

2013-06-19 20:10

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Johannesburg - The killers of an Ehlanzeni district ANC leader were hired by politicians "too powerful to be brought to book", the Gauteng North High Court sitting in the Nelspruit Magistrate's Court heard on Wednesday.

Before sentencing ANC Chief Whip Johan Ndlovu's killers, defence lawyers Malanguti Malanguta and Katlego Matsego argued that the accused were used by powerful politicians.

"The accused were used by some powerful politicians... politicians would do anything to survive. They are so powerful that they will not be brought to book," said Malanguta, for one of the accused, Bongani Mkasi.

"These boys are just players in a bigger political game and even if we sentence these mere accused, we cannot stop the game. As long as there are politicians who hire poor and vulnerable people to do crime, we will not win this."

Mkasi, 30, and Mundi Khoza, 26, were found guilty of murder, armed robbery with aggravating circumstances and possession of an illegal firearm.

Their accomplice Life Khoza, 24, is already serving a sentence for Ndlovu’s murder after pleading guilty.

The three shot Ndlovu repeatedly near his home in Edinburgh village in the Hluvukani area on 5 January 2011. They then put him in the boot of his car and dumped him on the side of a road.

Malanguta said Mkasi and Khoza were tempted with money and the promise of a government tender for their carpentry business.

The lawyers argued that the reasons why the killers preferred to reveal the names of the politicians only to the police, and not have them mentioned in court, showed the politicians were feared.

Hit ordered

Earlier, the State in its opening argument, said the two stood to make large sums of money by killing Ndlovu.

Prosecutor Charles Mnisi said Mkasi already had a jail sentence for illegal possession of a firearm, while Khoza was previously found guilty of theft.

Mnisi argued it did not take long for the murder to be committed after the hit was ordered.

"Mkasi was just approached once and it was enough. He should have thought about this... five days after he was approached the killing took place. If he didn't want to, he should have maybe told someone."

He said Mkasi was driven by greed for money.

Judge Richard Mabuse postponed the trial to Thursday for sentencing.

Read more on:    anc  |  mbombela  |  politics

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