Mpumalanga premier fires Mandla Msibi as MEC in wake of his arrest

Mandla Msibi.
  • Mandla Msibi has been released from his duties.
  • He was fired after being charged with murder.
  • Busisiwe Shiba will continue to act in place of Msibi.

Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane has released Mandla Msibi from his duties as Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs MEC.

She said the decision was taken in consideration of the seriousness of the charges he faces, as well as the impact it would have on his work.

"I wish to take this opportunity and announce that I have decided, after consultation with the ANC leadership in the province, to release MEC Msibi, who was responsible for Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs, from his position in the provincial executive council with immediate effect," Mtshweni-Tsipane said in a briefing on Tuesday night.

"He still remains a member of the Mpumalanga provincial legislature as an ordinary member," she added.

According to Mtshweni-Tsipane, the ANC has set itself a particular moral standard, which its public representatives have to abide by.

In the meantime, the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Busisiwe Shiba, will continue to act in Msibi's place.

"Mandla Msibi is a comrade of mine, whom I have known and worked with for many years. I hold him in a very high regard and I shall continue to do so, until proven otherwise," the MEC added.

READ | Ramaphosa calls for murder-accused Mandla Msibi to step aside - report

On Tuesday, Msibi appeared in the Nelspruit Magistrate's Court, along with his co-accused, Anele Sonke Mnisi, 26, and Njabulo Mkhonto, 28.

They face two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in connection with the fatal shooting of Dingaan Ngwenya and Sindela Lubisi, as well as wounding a third person, at the Nelspruit Cayotes Shisa Nyama on 22 August 2021.

Msibi, 45, handed himself over to authorities on Monday.

On 17 September, police arrested Joseph Charlie Ngwenya, 35, and Tshepo Matsane, 30. Both appeared in court before being granted bail of R20 000 each on 8 October.

Msibi had previously been charged with attempted murder, but was acquitted by the court three months ago.

Mtshweni-Tsipane said that, if Msibi was cleared, and she reshuffled her cabinet, she had the liberty to consider him because he would no longer be involved in any court case.

Msibi's bail application continues on Wednesday.