WATCH: Sindiso Magaqa murder accused to go on trial next month – Bheki Cele
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DURBAN – Police Minister Bheki Cele says the murder accused in the case of former youth league leader Sindiso Magaqa will have their day in court next month.
This comes despite misgivings by Magaqa’s family and friends, including whistle-blower Thabiso Zulu, who believe that the accused are not the killers.
Cele revealed during a press conference in Durban on Wednesday, where the inter-ministerial task team established by President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2018 to probe the wave of political killings in KZN, was giving an update on several cases in the province.
The minister said the Magaqa matter would be heard on July 19 this year, but did not say in which court.
The Director of Public Prosecution in KZN, advocate Elaine Zungu, later confirmed to Independent Media on the sidelines of the presser that this would not be a first-time appearance as the matter would be transferred from the Scottsburgh Magistrate’s Court to a higher court.
While Zungu did not name the suspects, it has been previously reported by IOL that one of them is a former police officer turned hitman, operating in the taxi industry and political space.
Among those already in the dock for Magaqa’s murder are Mbulelo Mpofana, Sibonelo Myeza and Mlungisi Ncalane, the latter two are former SAPS officers who have since been dismissed while in custody.
Cele expressed concerns that police officers were involved in the political killings, saying 16 of them, including Ncalane, had since been arrested.
Specifically, on the issue of Magaqa, who was a former secretary-general of the ANC Youth League who was killed in a hail of bullets in July 2017 and who died while he was serving as a councillor in the Mzimkhulu local municipality in southern KZN, Cele said: “The murder case of former ANC Youth League secretary-general will also commence on the 19 of July 2021. The task team arrested eight suspects and five of them have been charged with his murder and one died and charges were withdrawn against two suspects.”
In another high-profile case, that of Qashana Mchunu, a former ANC councillor and CR17 loyalist who was gunned down in Pietermaritzburg in May 2018, Cele said the case would get under way in July.
“Seven suspects have been arrested and one suspects have been charged with his murder and four of these suspects will face charges of conspiracy to commit murder. It is important to raise this case because there was a time when everybody was making a lot of noise about the withdrawal of this case,” Cele said.
In the north, Cele said there would be a prosecution in the murder of Wandile Ngubeni, a former regional leader of the ANC Youth League in the ANC eMalahleni region, who was killed in May 2016.
“Two suspects will answer for his murder on November 12, 2021.”
Also on the prosecution roll in November are those accused of killing Sibuyiselo Dlamini, an IFP member who was slain in Ulundi a few years ago.