Two men plead not guilty to murder of IFP councillor

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Two men have pleaded not guilty in the Pietermaritzburg high court to the murder of an IFP councillor in the Kranskop area last year.

Thanda Chamane (22) and Lungelo Gumede (25) are alleged to have killed Michael Mfaniso Nzuza on April 26.

Nzuza was the IFP ward two councillor at the Maphumulo Municipality since 2016 and a ward committee member from 2011 to 2016. The indictment stated the men and councillor were all residents in the Mambula area, Kranskop. They all were also members of the IFP.

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Prior to the murder, Chamane was informed that Nzuza was suspicious of how he acquired the vehicle he was driving, the indictment added. He was further told that the councillor wanted him arrested for driving this “suspicious vehicle”, said the indictment. In addition, there was a shooting incident in which a water tanker vehicle was shot at. Chamane believed the councillor had implicated him in the incident and also wanted him arrested for shooting at the tanker. In order to silence the councillor, Chamane decided and planned to kill him, said the indictment.

On the day of the murder, he approached Gumede and explained his intention and plan to kill the councillor.

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Gumede assisted by providing Chamane with a firearm. Chamane then went to the councillor’s house and waited for him to arrive. When he did, he fired several shots at him. He was shot in the head, chest and abdomen.

Chamane then ran away from the scene. The next day, Gumede fetched the firearm from Chamane and kept the murder weapon. Both men are also charged with being in possession of an unlawful firearm. The serial number had been removed. They are also charged with being in unlawful possession of ammunition.

Gumede faces an additional charge of being in possession of a prohibited firearm, a Parabellum Calibre Taurus semi-automatic pistol. The serial number had also been removed from this firearm.

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