Guard jailed for IFP member’s killing

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Prison cells by Neil Bird

Durban - A security guard was jailed for nine years in the Durban Regional Court on Monday for killing an IFP member.

Magistrate Trevor Levitt found Skhumbuzo Nxumalo guilty of shooting dead Inkatha Freedom Party supporter Cebisile Shezi near the Thembalihle railway station in KwaMashu on October 6, 2012.

Nxumalo fired shots into a crowd of supporters who had converged on the National Freedom Party councillor's house he had been assigned to protect.

Nxumalo had argued during his trial that he found himself facing scores of IFP supporters threatening to burn down the house of Mgezeni “Bhungu” Gwala, and that he had only fired warning shots.

Levitt rejected Nxumalo's claim that the crowd had entered the property. He said that although Nxumalo had not specifically intended for Shezi to be killed, he knew that someone could have been killed when he fired his weapon, and proceeded to fire his weapon nevertheless.

The shooting happened after Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa addressed IFP supporters at a sports field in A-section KwaMashu earlier that day. He did so in an attempt to reduce tension after the abduction of IFP councillor Themba Xulu.

Xulu was out on bail after being arrested for allegedly trying to burn down Gwala's house. Xulu's body was found the next day. He had been shot.

Levitt found Nxumalo had acted unlawfully and exceeded the legitimate bounds of self defence.

“You went further than you should have,” he said.

However, he accepted that the shooting had not been premeditated and that Nxumalo acted on the spur of the moment.

“You will not be sacrificed on the altar of deterrence, but you will receive just dessert for what you did on that day,” said Levitt.

He ordered that Nxumalo, who had no previous conviction, be declared unfit to carry a firearm.

The court heard that Shezi had been a single mother of two who worked at a butchery. Nxumalo is a father of three children but also supported his deceased sister's two children.


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