Cele appeals for calm, patience amid investigation into murder of ANC councillor in Mpumalanga

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Police minister Bheki Cele has appealed for calm and patience amid an investigation into the murder of a Mpumalanga councillor.
Police minister Bheki Cele has appealed for calm and patience amid an investigation into the murder of a Mpumalanga councillor.
PHOTO: Mlungisi Louw, Gallo Images, Volksblad
  • Police Minister Bheki Cele has appealed for calm amid investigations into the murder of Piet Retief councillor Sbonelo Mthembu.
  • The minister addressed journalists outside Mthembu's home on Monday.
  • He said investigators must be allowed enough time to conduct thorough investigations. 

Police Minister Bheki Cele has appealed for calm and patience amid calls for the arrest of Mpumalanga ANC councillor Sbonelo Mthembu's killers. 

Cele addressed journalists outside the slain councillor's home on Monday, where he was joined by national police commissioner General Fannie Masemola, among other officials. 

The minister said the investigating officers must be given enough time to build a watertight case against the suspects.

"The investigating team will have to do thorough work. By the time those people get arrested, they should not be arrested for withdrawal or acquittal.

"While it's a difficult thing [to do] and the family and community ask the question, we have to [investigate thoroughly]. At the end of the day, results must tell that the work has been done thoroughly," added Cele.

Mthembu, 36, his mechanic, and another man were shot in Mkhondo on Friday. 

Police spokesperson Colonel Donald Mduli said three armed men shot them. 

The gunmen fired several shots at Mthembu and his friend, who was inside a bakkie he and the mechanic had travelled in.

READ | Mpumalanga councillor and two others gunned down, suspects on the run

"The mechanic did not escape the shooting as he was shot by the same suspects whilst in the yard as well. Thereafter, the three suspects fled in an unknown direction," said Mduli.

Cele added Mpumalanga police identified "gaps" and considered adopting measures used in provinces like KwaZulu-Natal to address political killings.

"We will be using the same multidisciplinary approach, which we hope will not take too long to crack the case," he said. 

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