Cape Town - R20 000, is allegedly the price it cost to put out a hit on the life of community activist Loyiso Nkohla.
This was the evidence lead in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court, as Senior State Advocate John Ryneveld read how Mziyanda Mdlungu, one of the suspects in the murder of Nkohla, was linked to the shooting.
The former Ses’khona activist, and previously an ANC councillor, was shot along with three others in Philippi on April 17 while attending a meeting. Mdlungu is the second suspect to have been arrested by the Hawks after the assassination.
He was arrested on November 13 in Katlehong, Gauteng.
A few days later, the man who was accused of being the mastermind of the murder, Thobani Maxengana of Limise Protection Services (Pty) Ltd, was arrested on Thursday in Peddie, Eastern Cape.
The following day he was found dead in Cambridge police station, East London. Ryneveld revealed that Mdlungu was paid R20 000 for killing Nkohla.
“He faces eight charges, he has been formally added as accused number 2. He faces two counts of conspiracy to murder, murder, three counts of attempted murder, plus an unlicensed firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition.
“How he is linked to the murder case – it is alleged that before the shooting of Loyiso, which took place on April 17, a meeting was held, and it included accused number 2.
“This meeting was convened by Thobani Maxengana, also arrested and who was in custody in the Eastern Cape. He unfortunately passed away while in custody. It was confirmed by the pathologist that there was no foul play, he had a heart attack.
“The meeting convened by Maxengana took place before April 17 and was attended by the accused and Zukisa Tshabile (Accused 1) as well as other known males.
“The reason we are not naming them, we are tracing to arrest them. He agreed with Thobani to kill Loyiso, in addition, conspiracy to commit murder. The second target was Nyameka Mabandla, who was supposed to be shot. Accused was in agreement, after the murder of Nyameka his wife, he would be paid, to which the accused agreed.”
He added that on April 17 the accused was contacted by the shooters to inform him Nkohla was killed.
“He was requested by a shooter, known to the State, to come and pick them up after the shooting. The accused went to the scene but the shooters had left. He had a meeting with the shooters after the killing.
“The accused informed the mastermind Thobani Maxengana they had finished the job. In May the accused received an amount of R20 000 from Thobani, which was accepted by the accused. That is a summary of how he is linked. He has been charged with a Schedule 6 offence.”
Mdlungu said, through his lawyer, that he would like to apply for bail.
Nyameka told the media she was shocked to hear that the person who supported Nkohla during his mother’s passing was the mastermind behind the attack.
“He went to the funeral and then two weeks later he did this.
“They were from the same town, Loyiso helped him when he was struggling. The meeting they all attended was to resolve the issue of the employees who were not paid. We knew Thobani.
“This is someone who approached Loyiso to resuscitate his business, for him to turn and want to kill the both of us is disgusting and to kill Loyiso for R20 000. I had my suspicions but wasn’t sure it was really him.
“The other shocking thing was that I was supposed to have been killed. I got emotional because it would have meant that I would have left young children behind. I’m struggling to process that I was supposed to die that day. If Loyiso hadn’t insisted that I turn around that day of the shooting, I wouldn’t be around.”
She described Nkohla’s tragic demise as a story of betrayal.
“I look at all the suspects who have been arrested so far, and to hear of the mastermind, these are people that come from informal settlements, Loyiso fought for their dignity, only for them to kill him this way, it’s heartbreaking.
“I’m not happy that Thobani died because I was hoping for his day in court, that people could see him and hear him say that he did it, for him to die like that is cowardice and I think, as a parent, is that he also has children who are going to grow up without their father, as mine will.