ANC member denies murder allegations, says charges ‘arise from bias, politicking’

2016-06-30 12:09
Mbuyiselwa Shabalala consulting with his lawyer Phumlani Fakude at court on a previous occasion.

Mbuyiselwa Shabalala consulting with his lawyer Phumlani Fakude at court on a previous occasion. (File)

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Pietermaritzburg - ANC member Mbuyiselwa Shabalala (40) has vehemently denied allegations that he shot dead two women, Phethetheni Ngubane (50) and Badedile Ntshapha (56), after they left an ANC meeting in Imbali on June 8.

“I deny the allegations against me in the strongest possible terms. I did not shoot them nor did I have any intention to harm them.

“I had neither planned to nor did I carry out the killing,” he said in an affidavit before Magistrate M. Boikhutso in support of his application for bail yesterday.

Shabalala added he has never been violent towards women, is a family man with a clean record and a responsible member of the community. He has been employed by Enforce Security for 10 years, he said.

The hearing started yesterday amid huge public interest but was interrupted soon afterwards when the courts were forced to close for health reasons because there was no water in the building.

In an affidavit read to court by his attorney Phumlani Fakude, Shabalala (a former ANC branch treasurer) offered to relocate to the Bulwer area if he is granted bail and said he is convinced that he can prove his innocence.

Shabalala said he believes the charges against him “arise from bias and a measure of politicking”.

This is because in his branch of the ANC — Unit J (13) Imbali — he was perceived as being opposed to the faction to which the victims of the shooting belonged to.

“I have never taken the law into my own hands and accordingly deny the charges against me,” he said.

Shabalala said as far as he is aware the state’s case is “based on circumstantial evidence without any eyewitness account” and on “conjecture and speculation”.

“I have also heard … that the state shall be relying on a so-called dying declaration by one of the deceased [victims],” he said.

Shabalala said he will dispute this “because it is simply untrue”.

He said he can confirm that there was some discord between the branch factions represented by the two victims and the faction that people “assumed” Shabalala supported.

“This faction promoted the right of Anton Mbatha to become a councillor. The deceased’s faction supported Jabulani Nene as their councillor-in-waiting,” said Shabalala.

“Whilst I admit that there was a measure of discord between the two factions in our branch, I deny that this motivated me or caused me to take up arms against the two ladies. I have never in all my life been violent towards women,” said Shabalala.

Shabalala said he was arrested on June 9 after voluntarily handing himself over to the investigating officer in response to his call, and also voluntarily surrendered his work firearm, which he was “confident” would ill not be ballistically linked to the killings.

Shabalala said by removing himself far from Pietermaritzburg he will not be in any danger from alleged threats by the community, or a threat to state witnesses.

Shabalala challenged the state to reveal what evidence there is against him and said it would be “highly instructive” to find out if the shooter was capable of being identified considering that the shooting allegedly occurred in the dark.

The case will resume tomorrow.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime  |  court  |  anc

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