Durban — The court has heard how a witness in the 1989 murder of a teen political activist had fingered the accused as the shooter during a trial in the Durban High Court in 1990.
Gugulethu Wesley “Matiri” Madonsela alleged by the State to have been affiliated with an A-Team that worked with the then Natal Security Branch, is charged with the alleged murder of political activist, Siphelele Nxumalo.
Nxumalo, 17, was shot in Chesterville and died of multiple gunshot wounds. He was an activist with the United Democratic Front (UDF), which was affiliated to the ANC. Phumelele Miya a witness, had been Nxumalo’s girlfriend when he was shot and killed.
“In 1990 Mr Ngubeni was accused of killing Siphelele Nxumalo, and you were subpoenaed to come testify in the trial. In your evidence back then, you pointed out Ngubeni as the person who shot Nxumalo, and Ngubeni was acquitted of the charges he faced where you were a witness. Today, you are coming to court again with similar facts saying it is this accused now who killed Nxumalo. So it is my submission that either it has been suggested to you, to say it is this accused who killed Siphelele Nxumalo or you are making a mistake and you did not see this accused on the night in question,” said Madonsela’s counsel Bongani Cele during Miya’s cross-examination on Friday.
The witness conceded that she had made a mistake then because Ngubeni looked almost identical to his brother Kuben, who she named as one of the shooters adding that she saw the shooters clearly on the night in question.
Miya previously testified that Madonsela was one of four men who approached Nxumalo and her that night. She said Madonsela and another named Kuben pulled out firearms and shot Nxumalo. Miya, who named the other two men as Msafu and E, testified that she ran and hid in a nearby bush, and from there she witnessed Madonsela and Kuben fire more shots at Nxumalo who was on the ground.
“What is surprising is you told the court the accused, Kuben, E and Msafu were all friends of Siphelele and Siphelele did not call them by name when he saw them, he did not even ask why they were killing him. I suggest that he did not say their names because he did not know the people who were shooting him,” said Cele.
However, Miya said the area was illuminated sufficiently for her to recognise the four. He also questioned Miya over a statement she made to the police last year where she spoke about the Nxumalo family, their link to the ANC and the existence of the A-Team in Chesterville at the time of Nxumalo’s murder. Miya said she was aware the Nxumalo family was possibly involved with ANC activity but was not clued up on the details, adding that there was another group against the ANC, the A-Team. The matter resumes next month.
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