Stellenbosch deputy mayor Nyaniso Jindela charged for murder of former deputy mayor
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Cape Town - Three suspects - Stellenbosch deputy mayor Nyaniso Jindela, his wife, Unathi, and Gladstone Relegu - were each released on R5 000 bail in connection with the murder of a former deputy mayor Cameron Mcako.
The three appeared at the Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Court on Thursday and were charged with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, illegal possession of a firearm, and illegal possession of ammunition.
Jindela, 56, Unathi, 46, and Relegu, 48, were arrested on Tuesday in connection with the murder of Mcako, who was the second prominent political figure to be killed in 2019 in Kayamandi amid intense clashes for prime land to be made available for the poor.
The fourth suspect, Phumlani Sibongo, has already appeared in the pre-trial on the same charges.
Mcako was shot at his tavern and later died in hospital.
His death is believed to be politically motivated.
National Prosecuting Authority NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said the suspects will join the fourth suspect, Phumlani Sibongo on June 11 2021 for a pre-trial at the high court.
“The conditions include house arrest for all the accused. The house arrest gets suspended when they have to get medical attention. They have to inform the Investigating officer when they have to get medical attention unless it's an emergency. It is also suspended on Sundays when the deputy mayor and his wife have to attend church. The house arrest also gets suspended when the accused has to go to work. Relegu didn't raise the issue of attending church,” said Ntabazalila
Ntabazalila said they were ordered by the court not to change residential addresses without providing the investigating officer with a written notification.
“They mustn’t interfere with witnesses, they must hand over their travel documents, must not be 500 metres from any border of entry, they may not leave the Western Cape without informing the investigating officer and must report to the police in Stellenbosch on Mondays and Fridays between 8am and 8pm. The case was then transferred to the Western Cape High Court. They were then handed the indictment and the summary of facts," he said.
Municipal spokesperson Stuart Grobbelaar said the municipal manager has referred the matter to the office of the speaker for handling in terms of Schedule 1 of the Municipal Systems Act Code of Conduct for Councillors.
“The municipality views this allegation in a very serious light. Following today’s court proceedings at the Stellenbosch court, where a municipal office bearer and his co-accused appeared, we are able to confirm that the office-bearer is Mr Nyaniso Jindela.
“The police investigation should be allowed to run its course thoroughly and transparently to ensure that justice is served.
“At this stage, any further queries around the case, should be directed to the South African Police Service (SAPS), the political party concerned, and the Provincial Minister for Local Government and Development Planning,” said Grobbelaar.
The DA’s federal council chairperson, Helen Zille, said the Federal Executive may suspend a person from party activities pending the finalisation of an investigation or disciplinary process in terms of the DA Constitution Section 10.12.2.
“The DA constitution prescribes that a member ceases to be a member when he or she is found guilty of an offence listed in certain schedules of the criminal procedure act.
“Until that happens an individual remains a member, subject to all the provisions of the DA constitution. If he is found guilty he will lose his membership automatically. The Structures Act and SA Constitution disqualify a person from being a member of Council when that person is convicted of an offence and sentenced to more than 12 months imprisonment without the option of a fine and all-time for an appeal have expired. As soon as we have the information from the Court hearing, we will duly consider this,” said Zille.
GOOD party secretary-general Brett Herron said when a deputy mayor or public representative faces serious charges like murder or corruption, then the office bearer should put the interests of service and good government first.
“As we all know our law presumes innocence until proven guilty in a court of law. So although being charged does not mean being guilty, the charges, in this case, are of a violent crime. It is not possible to be a murder accused and continue to exercise the duties of a deputy mayor at the same time. He should step down out of respect for the office he holds and the residents he is meant to serve,” said Herron.
EFF provincial spokesperson Wandile Kasibe said the party accepts the arrest of the office bearer of Stellenbosch and they are of the view that no one is above the law.