THE Umzimkhulu Magistrate’s Court this week heard the bail applications for the five suspects who are allegedly linked to the murder plot of former Umzimkhulu Councillor Mduduzi Tshibase, who was killed while entering his home in Gugwini on May 23, 2017.
When the fourth and fifth suspects were formally applying for bail on Tuesday, November 27, security was extremely tight inside the court.
One of the suspects indicated that on the day of Tshibase’s murder he was drinking liquor with his friends and Tshibase’s younger brother in Harding. He said they received a phone call about Tshibase’s attack while drinking.
He denied that he planned the murder when he was cross examined by the state. He even denied that he followed Tshibase’s vehicle on the day of the attack. He asked to be granted bail to look after his children and stock.
Attorney Themba Mjoli, who represented the fifth suspect, read an affidavit prepared by his client appealing for bail.
In the affidavit, the suspect stated that he owns a security and construction company, as well as some taxis, and is highly valued by the community of Umzimkhulu. He claims he heard about Tshibase’s murder in the media and was not involved. He asked to be released on bail to look after his businesses, stating that there was no one to take care of them.
He said there is nothing tying him to politics and he was expecting a lot to be said during the Moerane Commission that was established to investigate KwaZulu-Natal political killings.
“There are many political activists who were killed in Harry Gwala District but were not mentioned in the commission,” said the suspect.
Presiding officer Khulile Mdladlamba postponed his bail application to Thursday, November 29.
The suspect and his four co-accused were arrested separately by SAPS a few weeks ago. They are currently in police custody.