DURBAN– Police have linked a notorious hitman, wanted for at least six deaths across KwaZulu-Natal, to an ongoing murder investigation into the death of soccer star Senzo Meyiwa.
Meyiwa was gunned down in what was described as a botched robbery in Vosloorus, east of Joburg, in the presence of his girlfriend Kelly Khumalo, her mother Ntombi, sister Zandi, Zandi’s boyfriend Longwe Twala, his friends Mthokozisi Twala and Tumelo Madlala, and their son, who was 4 years old at the time.
Ntuli was convicted in the Esikhaleni Regional Court on Tuesday following his reign of terror, which began in 2016.
According to police spokesperson, Brigadier Vish Naidoo, Ntuli was convicted for the murders of councillor Thami Goodwill Nyembe, Butiza Sandisa Mahlobo, Sphamandla Zungu and brothers Phiwayinkosi Zulu, Mcebisi Zulu and Sibusiso Zulu.
"Ntuli also shot and critically wounded Nolwazi Nyembe, the wife of Thami Nyembe, which resulted in a case of attempted murder.
“He was further convicted of four counts of unlawful possession of firearm and ammunition where one of the firearms stolen was from a police officer in Ezibeleni in Queenstown in 2011," Naidoo said.
He said a multidisciplinary integrated Police Task Team in KwaZulu-Natal comprising of senior public prosecutors, SAPS detectives, Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (Hawks), Forensic experts and Crime Intelligence began investigating Ntuli on one count of murder and one count of attempted murder following the shooting of the Nyembe couple in KwaNongoma, KZN, in 2016.
Naidoo said following intensive investigations by the team, Ntuli was linked to the other five murders.
"Ntuli's terror reign was not only in the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal, as he is also a person of interest in several other cases in Gauteng, many of which are murders, including that of Senzo Meyiwa," he said.
At the sentencing hearing on Tuesday, the defence team requested that a pre-sentencing report from a parole officer and a social worker be presented to the court before sentencing is passed.
The judge granted the request and Ntuli is expected reappear in court on December 9, 2021 for sentencing.