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Durban - In spite of being accused of shooting an IFP supporter, the son of a National Freedom Party councillor told the Durban Regional Court on Monday that police had not confiscated his two firearms, let alone questioned him about them.
Testifying in his bail application, Bonginhlanhla Gwala denied killing 31-year-old Celiwe Shezi near the KwaMashu hostel on October 6.
“I am not guilty. I did not play a role in this crime. It is a lie and a fabrication,” he said. “I did not kill her.”
Gwala’s father Bhungu, an NFP councillor, his brother Celimpilo, and two others – S’khumbuzo Nxumalo and Sibusiso Ncengwa – have also been charged with the murder of Shezi and the attempted murder of two other protesters near the hostel.
On the day of the shootings, Gwala said he had been at his flat in uMhlanga Rocks. He told the court his father had called him at about 4.30pm that day, informing him of what had happened and telling him that he was on his way to a house near the hostel.
Gwala said he was shocked by the news, as his younger brother had been shot dead at the same house on September 18, by someone who had fired shots through the window.
He said when he left his flat, his departure time would have been recorded by cameras in the building.
“Before I could reach the house, I phoned my father to ask if I could use Malandela Road, which is the main road. He told me that it was closed and that I should use Mbuyazi Road which I did,” he said.
“When I got there, my family was there, [as were] the police and other political parties.”
Gwala told the court that he did not have a problem with police checking his phone records to see where he was that day and at what time his father had called him.
“In fact, I would be disappointed if the police have not done that because they told me they would,” he said.
When police go to look at the camera footage at his flat, he asked that his lawyer, advocate Paul Jorgensen, accompany them.
“I no longer trust the police,” he said.
Gwala testified that, in spite of the fact that he was charged with a crime in which a gun was used, the police had not taken his two guns or even asked him about them. He said he had gone to the police on his own, the day he was arrested.
his father told the court that he had witnesses who could confirm his whereabouts at the time of the shootings.
The matter was postponed to November 19. - Daily News