Marianhill massacre accused calls himself a simple family man

2017-10-24 19:32
Magistrates court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Magistrates court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Durban – In a bid for his release on bail, a 24-year-old Durban man accused of the massacre of a family of five, told the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court that he was the sole breadwinner in his family.

Mbongiseni Shozi has denied that he killed the family and claimed that he was just a simple family man.

Shozi was arrested on October 8 and has been charged with the unlawful possession of a firearm, murder and attempted murder.

It is alleged that he is one of the gunmen that shot dead five members of a family in Nteke, Marianhill.

ALSO READ: Suspect in KZN family massacre shot dead during arrest attempt

Four of the family members died at the scene and a fifth died later in hospital.

Although he has been in custody for weeks, Shozi was well dressed in designer brands, including an Uzzie hoodie and Lacoste shoes.

He appeared meek and diminutive at first but, after taking the witness stand, a commanding figure emerged.

Shozi testified that he was a taxi conductor and the sole breadwinner of his family.

He had a one-year-old baby girl, who was mentioned frequently during his testimony,

He told the court that he was responsible for taking her to daycare.

Previous conviction

During cross-examination, however, prosecutor Veraysha Moodley challenged his testimony.

“You have said that you work at 06:00 but you take a break at 07:30 and take your daughter to school in the taxi you work for. How is this possible?”

As Moodley grilled him, Shozi became hostile and directed questions at her.

She responded: “Sir you are not permitted to ask me questions. You must answer mine.”

The court also heard that Shozi had been convicted of the unlawful possession of a firearm earlier this year.

Moodley put it to him that facing a similar charge for a second time was irresponsible.

But Shozi denied that he had done anything wrong in the case he has been charged with.

He claimed, instead, that the firearm found in his possession belonged to a friend, who gave it to him for safekeeping.

“He came to me before I was arrested and told me the gun was licensed and I should keep it for him. I knew it was a criminal offence to have an illegal gun. I thought I could keep a licensed one.”

But Moodley revealed that the weapon was not licensed.

Family is distraught

Speaking to News24 outside of court, a relative of one of the victims, Vusi Twala, said the family was struggling to cope with the loss.

Twala’s brother-in-law, taxi driver Lindelani Meyiwa, was one of the victims of the shooting.

“This boy [Shozi] used to come spend time with the family. There were no problems. I don’t know how he could do this.”

Twala said Meyiwa was the sole breadwinner for his family and provided for three young children, aged two, five and seven.

“The youngest has been asking for her father. The family that survived have moved out of the home and built a shack to stay in. They are scared to go back.”

The family believes that there was more to the killing and questioned the role that Shozi allegedly played in it “My brother-in-law had no enemies,” Twala said.

The bail application continues on Wednesday.


 

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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