NUM member denies shooting AMCU member

2017-10-26 22:01


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Brits - A man who was arrested in connection with the shooting of a member of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) on Thursday told the Brits Magistrate's Court that he had no knowledge of the charges brought against him.  

Dressed in a red Adidas T-shirt, short navy-blue pants and sandals, Nkosinathi Mantashe appeared before a packed court gallery. 

There was a sea of green outside court as AMCU members sang and danced to struggle songs while court proceedings were underway.

Mantashe, who is a member the National Union of Mineworkers, maintained his innocence to the court and claimed he did not own a firearm. 

He was arrested last Friday after he allegedly shot and wounded Malibongwe Mdazo on July 22. 

"I don't know anything about the offence...I don't know the accused," he told the court.  

Mantashe, 37, had worked at Lonmin for 16 years. He is currently the mineral resources officer. 

He faces charges of attempted murder and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. 

The State was opposing bail in the matter. 

Mantashe started firing

Investigating officer Captain Aaron Khonue said that Mantashe was playing soccer at a field while the victim was in his vehicle on July 22. 

When the game ended, Mantashe started firing shots, he said. 

"He [Mdazo] heard gunshots, opened the door of his vehicle and checked what was happening. 

"He approached the accused and he asked him what he was doing. The victim grabbed the accused and asked him what he was doing - the accused ended up shooting him," he testified. 

Mdazo ran away and tried to hide. He was shot five times and was rushed to hospital, Khonue said. 

He added that the killings were as a result of a rivalry between the two unions. 

"They [unions] don't get along, they are fighting," he said. 

He said he was busy with dockets of murder and attempted murder stemming from the rivalry. 

Last week Thursday, AMCU president Joseph Mathunjwa announced at a press conference that the union had hired seasoned private investigator Paul O’Sullivan to get to the bottom of the recent spate of murders on the platinum belt that has seen nine Amcu members lose their lives in the space of a few months.

"We are dismayed, but not surprised, by the tardiness of the police in investigating the killings and arresting the situation," he said at the time. 

The police arrested three people in connection with the murders late last Wednesday.

The court case will continue on Friday.

Read more on:    amcu  |  num  |  labour  |  crime

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