No bail for ANC ex-councillor

Muzimuni Ngiba. Picture: THOKOZANI MBUNDA

Muzimuni Ngiba. Picture: THOKOZANI MBUNDA

Published Dec 11, 2023


Durban — The Durban Magistrate’s Court has again denied former eThekwini ward 101 ANC councillor Mzimuni Ngiba and his co-accused bail.

Ngiba, Nkosinathi Ngcobo, Sandile Mzizi and Sifiso Mlondo were applying for bail for the second time based on new facts.

They are accused of the murders of ward 101 candidate Siyabonga Mkhize and ANC activist Mzukisi Nyanga. The fifth accused in this matter, Phathisakhe Ngiba, did not apply for bail.

Magistrate Melanie de Jager said the court had to be satisfied that facts relied upon for the second bail bid were new but evidence not brought up in court in the first application could not be treated as new.

De Jager said Mlondo did not bring any new facts as he had indicated that his children failed at school because of his arrest and that he was losing money in his business.

“That was raised in the first bail application,” said De Jager.

Moreover, the four accused had told the court that the State had a weak case against them and that the statements by State witnesses were contradictory.

De Jager added that the delays in this matter were the fault of the accused and their lawyers.

“The delays are caused by the applicants (accused) themselves. The court is not taking that as a new thing. The pre-trial conference has been postponed several times because you and your lawyers were not prepared,” she said.

When the four applied for bail, they blamed the State for the delays. However, the State urged the court to not grant the accused bail as it had been ready to proceed with the matter all along and the delays were caused by the defence.

State senior advocate Lawrence Gcaba said a pre-trial conference had not taken place because the defence was not ready.

“They can argue that they are exercising their rights. In their exercise of rights they can’t cry foul to say their matter is delayed. The State has never caused any delays,” Gcaba said.

The State had alleged that Ngiba was intimidating witnesses and interfering with the political processes in his ward as he was pressing for a certain member to be voted in as ward candidate, but Ngiba denied this.

The Ward 101 by-elections are set for Wednesday. When the court denied the accused bail, family members, who were clearly unhappy, stood up, clicked their tongues and used profane words while walking out of the courtroom.

The case was postponed for a pretrial conference in January.

WhatsApp your views on this story to 071 485 7995.

Daily News