Durban — The man suspected of being linked to a mass shooting in Savannah Park and had the charges against him withdrawn on Tuesday, appeared in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday charged with five counts of murder in relation to a shooting that happened in Clermont.
Comfort Ngubo, 22, was arrested on Tuesday after walking out of the dock following the State provisionally withdrawing charges against him and his co-accused Njabulo Mchunu.
On Wednesday, Ngubo in court had his rights explained to him after the charges that he faced were read out to him.
He faces five counts of murder where it’s alleged that on May 9 in Clermont on 9th Avenue, acting in common purpose with others, he shot and killed Sibonelo Shezi, Siboniso Vilakazi, Sipho Zikho, Siphumelele Makaza, and Sibonelo Mthethwa.
He is also charged with possession of a firearm without a licence, specifically, a 9mm semi-automatic pistol as well as 17 rounds of 9mm Parabellum-type live ammunition.
The State indicated that it would be opposing Ngubo’s bail application.
Defence counsel Mthokozisi Mazibuko, who has been representing Ngubo since his arrest last year, told the court that he would like to place on record that counts six and seven in relation to the firearm and ammunition were the counts that were provisionally withdrawn on Tuesday.
“The reason why the charges were withdrawn is that investigations are not finalised as chain statements are not completed. There is a statement filed in that matter from a witness that exonerates the accused, saying that the gun was found on him (the witness). Today’s murder charges arise from that firearm count that was withdrawn yesterday. I’m not sure if the investigating officer had a chance to peruse the docket because if that was the case, the State’s attitude would not be so,” said Mazibuko.
He requested that when Ngubo makes his bail application later this month, the investigating officer make the statement exonerating his client available.
Ngubo and Mchunu had been each charged with possession of a firearm without a licence, Ngubo was allegedly found in possession of a 9mm pistol as well as 17 rounds of live ammunition.
The two had been out on R8 000 bail and had initially been charged alongside Nicolas Sphamandla Hadebe, 24, in August last year.
Hadebe, who was out on R10 000 bail, was allegedly found in possession of a shotgun and 24 rounds of ammunition.
Five days after their release on bail Hadebe was gunned down allegedly by men who arrived at a house in Wyebank in a White Ford double cab with a police registration plate, suspected to be fake.
The three were said to have been linked to the mass shooting in Savannah Park.
On the day of the alleged shooting, gunmen opened fire at Siqhopholozi tuck shop killing the owner, Bhekumuzi Mzobe, his nephews Siboniso Mzobe and Sanele Khenisa, as well as Phumlani Mpithimpithi, Sphamandla Shezi, Siyakudumisa Mtshengu as well as a seventh person who died later in hospital.
Ngubo and Mchunu had charges against them provisionally withdrawn as the State’s investigations continued.
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