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Nelspruit - The assault case against former Mpumalanga human settlements MEC Siphosezwe Masango and two of his bodyguards has been postponed to next year for trial.
The three were not asked to plead to charges of assault and intimidation when they appeared in the Barberton Magistrate's Court on Monday.
They are accused of assaulting and intimidating motorist Gert van der Merwe, 39, at the Nkomazi toll plaza in July last year.
“The suspects appeared in the Barberton Magistrate's Court today (Monday) and their case was postponed to January 13 next year for trial,” Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) spokesman Moses Dlamini told a Sapa correspondent.
Van der Merwe opened the case at the Kaapmuiden police station and the case was transferred to the Ipid as the bodyguards work for the police.
In February, premier David Mabuza sacked Masango as human settlements MEC after he found that the department had delivered only 3 900 houses throughout the province when the target was 10 980 for the 2012/2013 financial year.
African National Congress provincial secretary Lucky Ndinisa said the party would conduct an internal investigation.
“The ANC will launch an internal investigation regarding the case levelled against Masango, but for now we treat him as innocent until proven guilty by a court of law,” said Ndinisa.
In a separate matter, the ANC had still not dealt with its Ehlanzeni regional chairman Ngrayi Ngwenya. He was found guilty of assault and fined R1 000 along with Nkomazi local municipality mayoral bodyguard Bheki Mhlongo after they assaulted a man in April.
Ngwenya, 49, and Mhlongo, 33, who is the bodyguard of Nkomazi mayor Thulisile Khoza, were found guilty of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm by the Barberton Magistrate's Court last month.
They were found guilty of assaulting former ANC member Collen Sedibe, who is now a member of Julius Malema's Economic Freedom Fighters.
Sedibe was still an ANC member during his assault, which happened at an ANC meeting in Malelane on April 18. The assault allegedly took place after a difference of opinion between Ngwenya and Sedibe, who vocally campaigned for Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe prior to the ruling party's elective conference in Mangaung, Free State, in December last year. - Sapa