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There was tension before eThekwini councillor was gunned down

Witness in the murder case of slain ANC ward councillor Minenhle Mkhize says he has no idea why Mkhize had body guards before he was even councillor. Picture: Nomonde Zondi

Witness in the murder case of slain ANC ward councillor Minenhle Mkhize says he has no idea why Mkhize had body guards before he was even councillor. Picture: Nomonde Zondi

Published Jul 20, 2023

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Durban — A witness told the Durban High Court on Thursday that a few days before the ANC Ward 103 councillor Minenhle Mkhize was killed, he received a tip-off about a meeting he was not invited to, but a former ward councillor was in it together with City manager and business people.

Mkhize was gunned down in 2022 in his home at Cliffdale while seated in his vehicle. Moreover, the witness who is also in the ANC said Mkhize called him to alert him that he was going to that meeting.

“We went with him to this meeting and the emotions were high as the former councillor Mthetheleli Sibisi was there. This did not sit well with Mkhize. However, the project manager who was there explained that she could not get hold of Mkhize so she asked Sibisi to come. We moved on from that and she told us that next time she will contact Mkhize,” he said.

He further told the court that a contractor told them that they were there to talk about the money that they had not received after doing some work in June 2021, during the time Sibisi was a councillor. The contractor told him that this was the reason Sibisi was in the meeting.

State advocate Elvis Gcweka asked the witness to explain how things were during the time the ANC was voting for a ward candidate preparing for the 2021 local government elections and why the ANC region had to deploy someone to calm things between the contestants who were competing with Mkhize.

The witness explained that the way things were one could not say the contestants were ANC members.

“It was like opposition parties were running for this position, however they all showed that they could be ward councillors. Mkhize won,” he said.

ANC eThekwini Ward 103 councillor Minenhle Mkhize, who was killed in 2022. Picture: Supplied.

The court also learnt that Mkhize had bodyguards before he became councillor. However, the witness said he did not know why he had them.

“According to my knowledge the ANC was not paying for his bodyguards. I think he had them to protect himself,” explained the witness.

He said the person who got into Mkhize’s position after he was killed was Linda Mchunu who had been competing with Mkhize.

Gcweka asked how Mchunu was elected to be councillor.

“We followed the same procedure that got Mkhize to be ward councillor,” he said.

Two men are accused of killing Mkhize.

Mxolisi Gcabashe and Ntokozo Ndlela, who are facing charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, unlawful possession of a semi-automatic firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition, are in custody.

Gcabashe faces other charges which include theft and unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.

The evidence led in court shows that the accused had been following Mkhize on the day he was killed.

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