Murder accused officials suspended

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Durban - THE KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education officials charged with conspiracy to commit murder are expected to be handed their suspension letters Thursday morning at the uMlazi Magistrate’s Court, when they appear with two others charged for murder in connection with the same case.

Mfundi Sibiya, 54, an education district director in the Ugu district, Lindani Mkhize, 40, a principal at Gobhela Primary School, Mhlengi Luthuli, 38, a principal at Bonguzwane High School and Xolani Myeza, 38, a former school principal, are alleged to have conspired to instruct Andile Zulu and Lungisani Makhoba to kill Nkosinathi Zondi, who was a principal at Nyonemhlophe High School on the South Coast.

Zondi was shot by two men at his uMlazi home last May and Ndolile Shezi, Zulu, Makhoba and Sandile Mzizi were arrested and charged with murder last year.

Charges against Shezi and Mzimzi were withdrawn this year, while Zulu and Makhoba were refused bail.

Mzizi, who was a school governing body chairman at Khathi High School near Hibberdene, had been accused of organising the hit on Zondi, but has since turned state witness.

On Tuesday, Magistrate Suraj Harilal granted Sibiya R5 000 bail and Mkhize, Luthuli and Myeza were granted R3 000 bail on condition that they found alternative addresses.

The provincial Department of Education spokesman, Muzi Mahlambi, said on Wednesday that the men would be handed their suspension letters in court today, as this was the only time they could see them.

Referring to the suspensions, he said “it was the morally correct thing for us to do as the department”.

“In the meantime, we will temporarily fill their positions so the function of education can continue.

“By suspending them we are not saying they are guilty; it’s the ethical thing to do,” he said.

Mahlambi said the department had been monitoring the case and would continue to do so.

“They (the men) needed to be removed from the teaching environment while the process of clearing or not clearing them played itself out. Once that process is done, as the department we will then take further steps,” said Mahlambi.

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