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Girl, 16, left wheelchair-bound after attempted murder accused ANC councillor traced a family they were feuding with and allegedly shot two youngsters

ANC councillor Mzwandile Shandu and his co-accused nephew are charged with two counts of attempted murder. File picture: SAPS Twitter

ANC councillor Mzwandile Shandu and his co-accused nephew are charged with two counts of attempted murder. File picture: SAPS Twitter

Published Jan 17, 2022


DURBAN - A FAMILY in Mid-Illovo are anxious about the possible granting of bail for ANC councillor Mzwandile Shandu, who is charged with two counts of attempted murder, one of which resulted in a teenage girl being confined to a wheelchair.

On Sunday the girl’s uncle, who did not want to be named, said that their ordeal began when the family were accused of having information about a murder in the area.

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He said that a man had been shot and killed while at his girlfriend’s place near their home.

“The councillor then accused us of knowing who the killer was. He was adamant that we must have known the killer. As a family we were concerned about the accusations and called a meeting with the community, the police and the leadership of the ANC in the area, which concluded that there was no evidence of our family’s involvement in the matter. But there was a common understanding that everyone in the meeting would work with the police to uncover the real killer.

“After this, the leadership went to report to the family and the councillor began a campaign of hostility against our family. My cousin, who worked at the IEC in Camperdown, was then murdered. These attacks even resulted in the relocation of many family members, including the one which came to uMlazi,” the uncle said.

He said his biggest concern was the power the ANC councillor possessed.

“As much as the councillor’s nephew is a danger to our family, we are most worried about the councillor. He is a very powerful person. In the last few weeks, there was a change in the medical records from the hospital my niece went to after they were shot. The record was accurate at first, showing that she was shot, and it was changed to a completely different condition when he was eventually arrested. We plead with the court to spare us the misery of knowing he is out of jail,” the uncle said.

Shandu, 42, appeared with his nephew, Mnqobi Shandu, at the Umlazi Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

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According to the police, the duo traced a family they were feuding with in Mid-Illovo to uMlazi, after which they allegedly shot two young people, leaving a 16-year-old girl wheelchair-bound in August last year.

In the bail application, the State led evidence through Sergeant Thabiso Mqadi, who is the interim investigative officer who testified that the State was opposing bail “due to the seriousness” of the alleged crimes brought before court and one more charge the suspects were yet to be indicted on.

“We have brought before the court attempted murder charges against the two suspects, and expect to finalise charging them on one count of murder. This makes us maintain that due to the seriousness of these crimes, bail should not be given. We are also very worried about the prospect of another crime being committed as soon as they get the bail,” Mqadi said.

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He said after the pair’s first appearance on December 30 there were reports of interference with witnesses, which resulted in the swift relocation of witnesses to a protection programme.

“After the postponement of the bail hearing, we were tipped off about possible interference with witnesses. We then moved the witnesses away from harm and provided a witness protection programme. For the cases in this court, today, we cannot say they are a threat to the witnesses because of the quick intervention of the police, but we fear they could be one in the other cases.

“It is important to note that both suspects are from Mid-Illovo but were arrested in uMlazi, a clear indication that should they be released on bail they are likely to be a flight risk,” Mqadi said.

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Defence attorney Abdul Karrim was critical of the State’s intentions for opposing bail.

“The State quite clearly does not have substantial proof to support the idea that my clients would be a danger to the witnesses. It does not provide anything to the effect that there was interference on the side of the witnesses after the first appearance, so the State is essentially assuming that there was, or that there would be, interference. Again, it goes back to my contention that the State’s intentions for opposing bail are questionable,” said Karrim.

Magistrate Jade Gurie adjourned the case to Thursday for a bail decision.

Daily News

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ANCCrime and courts