Imbali mass shooting: Killer reveals how ‘hit’ on witness was ordered from an awaiting trial prisoner

A man has revealed details of how a woman was killed. Picture: File image

A man has revealed details of how a woman was killed. Picture: File image

Published Mar 5, 2024


A 27-year-old Pietermaritzburg man has detailed how, under the instruction of an awaiting-trial prisoner, he killed a woman who was a witness in a murder trial.

Nkosinathi Mathobela pleaded guilty before Judge Kate Pillay in the Pietermaritzburg High Court recently.

In a plea and sentence agreement handed to the court by legal aid attorney Amanda Hulley, Mathobela pleaded guilty to four counts of murder.

The deceased are Lusanda Minenhle Zimu, a 23-year-old male; Nontando Ndlovu, a 43-year-old female; Thobelani Nduduzo Miya, a 23-year-old male; and Zamkuhle Siyabonga Phungula, a 31-year-old male.

In his plea, Mathobela said on Oct. 1, 2022, he was at his residence in Nyamazane, Imbali, in Pietermaritzburg, drinking with a friend.

During this time, he received a phone call from an awaiting-trial prisoner named Mongezi Emmanuel Nyathi. Nyathi was an awaiting-trial prisoner at New Prison on a murder case.

He apparently asked Mathobela and his friend to kill an eyewitness in his case, identified as Nontando Ndlovu, who lived in Emaqeleni in Imbali.

Mathobela said Nyathi instructed him and his friend to fetch ammunition at Phase 4, Imbali, and two firearms at Azalea Imbali 18.

They were driven to the victim’s house at around 8 p.m. and were in contact with someone inside the house. They arrived at the house and found the informant standing outside.

Mathobela said when the informant went back into the house, they joined him. “When we entered the house, we pointed our firearms at everyone and told them to lie on the floor. They complied. The music was loud in the main room.”

They then shot four people and fled the scene in a getaway car, taking four cellphones. Mathobela said they informed Nyathi that the murder was carried out.

Following the murder, Mathobela said they went to East Street in Pietermaritzburg and sold the stolen cellphones for R4,000.

He said they then took the money and began drinking and spent the night in Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg, as they were informed that there were lots of police in Imbali. Mathobela was arrested on Nov. 22, 2022, for being in possession of an unlicensed firearm and linked to this case.

The State was represented by Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Advocate Mbongeni Mthembu.

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