Durban — The Durban High Court found three men guilty of the murder of ANC KwaNdengezi branch leader Thulani Nxumalo on Wednesday.
Judge Graham Lopes told the court during his delivery of judgment that on September 3, 2018, at around 7pm, Makhosi Nxumalo, the deceased’s wife, heard shots by the front gate of their home and noises on top of the roof.
Judge Lopes said Makhosi took the grandchildren to a room in the house and switched off the light. The court heard that Makhosi asked her 11-year-old grandchild to slither to the other room and turn off the main switch so that the whole house would be dark. Judge Lopes said Makhosi called her friends and the police.
“When she went to check on the gate, she found her husband in a pool of blood,” said the judge.
The court found Felokwakhe Ndlovu, Nkosiyanda Ndlovu and Nkosinathi Mbambo guilty on all the charges brought against them by the State, namely: conspiracy to commit murder, murder, unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition. The trio had pleaded not guilty.
Judge Lopes said Mbambo and Nkosiyanda had disputed making confession statements to the police and that this resulted in a trial within a trial. He reminded the court that both these men had said they were threatened by police to side with Mbambo saying police were beating him up and forcing him to point out the crime scene.
However, the court said the two failed to prove their claims and their evidence was weak.
Judge Lopes said all the witnesses for Mbambo were weak and it showed that he made his confession statement willingly. He said there was a conflict of evidence from his witnesses and some left the court with the impression that they were told what to say in order to save him. He also said Nkosiyanda’s evidence was weak and the court would not accept it.
“He tries to distance himself from the planning of the crime. He failed to prove or show the court that, instead when he got to the witness stand he lied,” he said.
“Felokwakhe’s alibi was weak. It’s been close to five years that this case has been going on and he has failed to provide evidence on where he was on the day the crime was committed. The evidence against him clearly implicates him on all four counts.”
Judge Lopes said he considered Felokwakhe’s evidence a lie and went on to say although the defence had told the court to be cautious of State witness Celani Dlamini it accepted his evidence as it corroborated with that of another State witness, Mzi Makhubalo. The court the State witnesses Makhubalo, Dlamini and Siphephelo Ndlovu should not be prosecuted because they were truthful before the court.
Sentencing will take place next week.
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