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Durban - A KwaDukuza man, charged with the murder of an ANC member on election day, admitted he was a staunch IFP supporter but insists he was not responsible for a woman’s death.
Dumisani Nxumalo applied for bail in the Durban Regional Court on Thursday as IFP and ANC supporters watched from opposite sides of the public gallery. He is charged with shooting Thandi Mhlongo outside a KwaDukuza polling station on May 7.
The State alleges that IFP supporters were singing and marching past an ANC tent where Mhlongo and other members were also singing. As the IFP group walked past it is alleged Nxumalo shot Mhlongo.
Nxumalo, 28, a sales assistant at a furniture store, said in an affidavit that he had an alibi. He also said the evidence of one of the witnesses was “suspect” as the man had been arrested at the scene of the shooting.
Magistrate Fariedha Mohamed refused him bail as, she said, political intolerance had resulted from the killing and it was not in the interests of justice that he be released.
Prosecutor Calvin Govender said the investigating officer, Vusimuzi Shabangu, opposed bail citing the safety of witnesses and that Nxumalo was a flight risk because he did not own any assets.
Shabangu said the political situation was tense in the area and he feared for Nxumalo’s safety if he was released. He said a day after the murder Nxumalo’s car had been set alight and “unknown people” were asking questions about him at his place of employment.
Lourens de Klerk, Nxumalo’s attorney, argued that his client had “strong ties” to KwaZulu-Natal and would not flee. He said Nxumalo was a “law-abiding citizen” and was even prepared to relocate to another area.
De Klerk said Nxumalo was confident that cellphone evidence would confirm his alibi and show that he was not near the murder scene.
The case was adjourned until July.