Gwala’s son fired shots: witnessComment on this story
KwaZulu-Natal - A security guard who was on duty at the home of NFP councillor Bhungu Gwala when an IFP supporter was killed has placed Gwala’s son, Celimpilo, at the scene.
The guard, Skhumbuzo Nxumalo, said in an affidavit that he and Celimpilo fired several rounds at the group of IFP supporters, the Durban Regional Court heard on Thursday.
Nxumalo, Sibusiso Ncengwa, Gwala and his two sons, Celimpilo and Bonginhlanhla, have been charged with the murder of IFP supporter Celiwe Shezi, 31, and the attempted murder of two others on October 6.
Celimpilo had earlier testified that on that day, IFP supporters had come to attack his father’s house and he had heard shots being fired as the group made its way to the house.
He said that when he saw this, he and his other brother Mbhekeni had run away.
Nxumalo said in his affidavit that when the group of angry IFP supporters began stoning Gwala’s home, he lay on the ground and pointed his rifle with 60 rounds at the group. He said that Celimpilo had also come out of the house and took Nxumalo’s handgun, which had 14 bullets, and fired into the crowd with him.
Nxumalo said he had fired only three bullets, while Celimpilo had finished all the bullets in his handgun.
Celimpilo denied this, saying he had run away and had not fired any shots.
State prosecutor, Cyril Selepi, read parts of statements of two other unnamed witnesses who had implicated Celimpilo in the shooting. “Why I am telling you this is to show you that we have a strong case against you,” he told Celimpilo.
Gwala told the court that he intended pleading not guilty to the charges.
He said he had 18 children and seven of them were still under his guidance.
Gwala said that on the day of the shooting he had been in a meeting at KwaMashu police station with Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and others.
“[My son called me] while I was there [to] inform me of what was happening. When I got home there were lots of police, but everything was over. I saw a body across the street.
“The IFP supporters were swearing at me and the police so I could not go any closer.”
Gwala said the policemen who arrested him for this case had bumped into him while he was on his way out of the KwaMashu police station, saying they knew he had been at that meeting when the incident happened.
The matter was adjourned to Monday. - Daily News