IFP wants NFP murder charges reinstated

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iol news pic Lady Justice by Mike Cogh Mike [email protected] File image

Durban - The IFP on Wednesday urged the National Prosecuting Authority to reinstate charges against an NFP councillor who shot dead an IFP supporter outside Durban's Ntuzuma Magistrate's Court.

Inkatha Freedom Party caucus leader Blessed Gwala said in a statement that murder charges against National Freedom Party councillor Mzonjani Zulu should be reinstated.

Zulu shot IFP supporter Siya Dlamini on October 15, 2012 outside the Ntuzuma Magistrate's Court in full view of police, media, and bystanders.

The shooting took place following a confrontation between NFP leaders and IFP supporters who had attended court to express their opposition to bail being granted to NFP leader Bhungu Gwala.

Gwala was accused of killing IFP supporter Cebisile Shezi in KwaMashu's volatile hostels.

During his subsequent bail hearing in December 2012, Zulu claimed he shot the assegai-wielding Dlamini in self defence. He was released on bail of R5000.

Charges were withdrawn against Zulu in June 2013 and one of the issues was the failure to secure unedited raw footage from the national broadcaster, the SABC.

“We want these charges to be reinstated, because the perpetrator is among us in the streets and he is well known in the community. The perpetrator must be arrested because even the police knew that he killed someone but we ask ourselves why he is still free in the community as if nothing has happened, while there is a family who has lost a loved one.”

Gwala said it was incomprehensible that the case could not proceed without the SABC footage considering the number of witnesses present on the day of the shooting.

“We are questioning why there is a need for a video footage when this crime was committed in full view of police, the media and the public in the premises of the court. If a person is shot in a shebeen, do courts need video footage? If a person was raped in a sugar cane field, do courts need video footage?” said Gwala.

He did, however, urge the SABC to supply the NPA with the footage.

Comment was not immediately available from the NPA. However, when charges were withdrawn NPA spokeswoman Natasha Ramkisson-Kara said at the time that charges would be reinstated once the footage had been obtained and all evidence gathered.

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said if the SABC handed over raw footage of such scenes they would be targeted and unable in future to report on such protests.

“We will be putting our journalists in danger. We can only provide what is broadcast. It's not up to us to give them raw footage,” he said.

He was not aware of any request from the NPA.

Zulu, who is still a councillor, questioned why the IFP was making the call for the charges against him to be reinstated.

“What can I say? The IFP is not the justice system. The justice system is not political,” he said.

Instead of pointing fingers, Gwala needed to answer questions about his own involvement with IFP member Philip Powell who left South Africa just before the 1999 elections after he had surrendered a large stockpile of weapons.

Former Vlakplaas commander Eugene de Kock had previously testified that the weapons were part of a 70 ton, six-truck consignment he delivered to Powell in 1993, in preparation for possible war during the 1994 general elections.

“I know, I was a member of the IFP at the time,” said Zulu.

Sapa


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