Mthatha Express

Murder accused businessman and two hitmen denied bail

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The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has successfully opposed the bail application of businessman, William Sawule (68), and two alleged hitmen, Nkosinathi Mhlamvu (31) and Lwazi Dlamini (32), in the Mount Fletcher Magistrates’ Court. 

The trio are facing one count of murder, three attempted murder charges, conspiracy to commit murder, and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. 

They were arrested on the night of July 29, 2022, after the murder of Sawule’s neighbour, Nonono Mzonjani, who was shot dead in presence of his family and friends. 

“It is the state’s case that before the murder, Sawule faced a charge of malicious injury to property (MITP), opened by the deceased.  He had allegedly demolished the deceased’s house, with a Transport Load Builder (TLB) for failing to pay a loan.”

“While out on bail, Sawule organised hitmen from KwaZulu Natal and on the night of the offence, he picked up his two co-accused and other two unknown men and proceeded to the deceased’s home, where they pretended to need assistance with their broken vehicle.  When the deceased went to assist them, they shot him eight times and fled the scene,” said NPA regional spokesperson Luxolo Tyali.

The police were alerted, and they spotted Sawule’s car.  When the police tried the stop them, there was an exchange of gunfire.  Two men managed to flee, and Sawule and the co-accused were arrested. 

Three pistols, a riffle and R26 000 in cash were recovered from the vehicle.  It is believed that the cash was to be paid to the hitmen.

Opposing bail, the state, argued that Mhlamvu and Dlamini, were a flight risk, while Sawule had shown to have a propensity to interfere with witnesses, as it is alleged that he killed Mzonjani because he was a witness in his MITP case.   

The court found that the three accused failed to prove exceptional circumstances for their release on bail. 

The case has been postponed to October 13, 2022, for further investigations.

-ISSUED BY THE NPA: EASTERN CAPE DIVISION
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