Bail for murder accused councillor

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Independent Newspapers

Durban - A National Freedom Party councillor accused of killing an IFP supporter was granted R20,000 bail by the Durban Regional Court on Thursday.

Magistrate Siphiwe Hlophe said Mgezeni “Bhungu” Gwala had presented exceptional circumstances and it was in the interest of justice that he be granted bail.

Gwala, his son Mjabulelwa, Malusi Sibusiso Ncengwa, Skhumbuzo Nxumalo and Bonginhlanhla Gwala are charged with killing Inkatha Freedom Party supporter Cebisile Shezi.

She was shot dead outside the Thembalihle railway station, in KwaMashu, shortly after Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa addressed IFP supporters at a sports field in A-section, KwaMashu, on October 6.

She was wearing an IFP T-shirt at the time.

Mgezeni and Mjabulelwa Gwala and Nxumalo appeared for a bail application on Thursday.

Hlophe granted Mgezeni Gwala bail as he was a father of 18

children and ran a taxi business which needed his supervision. He said Mgezeni Gwala had an alibi.

Mjabulelwa Gwala and Nxumalo were both denied bail because the State had a strong case against them. Hlophe said if they were released on bail there was a possibility they would not come to court.

Mjabulelwa Gwala had pending cases against him. He was out on a warning for an intimidation charge in the Ntuzuma Magistrate's Court, and had also been granted bail in a robbery case.

Hlophe said he had a warrant of arrest issued for him because he failed to appear in the Ntuzuma Magistrate's Court.

He was also accused of opening a false case after the shooting in KwaMashu.

Nxumalo, a security guard, allegedly tried to conceal evidence by going to his place of work to exchange firearms, Hlophe said.

Bonginhlanhla Gwala and Ncengwa were already out on bail.

The men would be back in court on February 8. - Sapa


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