Phumlani Nojiyeza, Mthokozisi Nojiyeza and Nkosinathi Mbambo appear in the uMlazi Magistrate’s Court in connection with ANC councillor S’bu Maphumulo. Mthokozisi Nojiyeza was released from Westville prison last week because the case was struck off the roll. File photo: Nqobile Mbonambi/African News Agency (ANA).
The community of ward 80 do not want their councillor back following his release from prison.

Umlazi V section councillor Mthokozisi Nojiyeza, who spent five months in Westville Prison, outside Durban, awaiting trial for the murder of a fellow councillor, was released last week because the case was struck off the roll because of insufficient evidence.

Nojiyeza was charged for the murder of ward 88 councillor S’bu Maphumulo.

On Tuesday, the community members protested outside Nojiyeza’s office, chanting for him to go.

A community member who did not want to be named said they were scared of Nojiyeza.

“We are scared for our lives and we do not want this man back as our councillor,” he said.

“Things have always been the same since he was councillor and his return will not make our lives any better. We do not want him back,” he said.

He added that they cannot have a councillor whom they are scared to speak to when they have problems in the community.

Maphumulo, 32, was shot multiple times while parked in a stationary vehicle outside his home in V section of uMlazi in October 2018.

Nojiyeza and his brother Nkosingiphile and a third person, Sandile Mvelase, were arrested in December.

Nojiyeza has now threatened to sue the state for wrongful arrest.

“I have spoken to my lawyers about suing the state for making me stay 150 days in prison for a crime that I did not commit and wasting my time,” he said.

“The new detectives said they want to work with me and I agreed because I too would like the murderer arrested,” said Nojiyeza.

Ward 80 has been without a councillor since Nojiyeza’s arrest.

Bheki Ntuli, ANC regional secretary, said that no one was above the law.

“However, if a person is accused of a crime, it does not mean that the person is guilty. We will have to properly engage with the community of ward 80 because Nojiyeza being struck off the roll means that he is free,” he said.

The police ministry says its task team is suspicious of the disappearance of witnesses in the Nojiyeza case and they are working round the clock to locate them.

The state and police previously claimed they had watertight cases against Nojiyeza.

It has since emerged that Maphumulo and Nojiyeza were friends.

Sunday Tribune