Accused in socialite Mluleki Mbewana's murder case has bail application postponed
Durban - The man accused of killing KZN socialite Mluleki Mbewana outside the Rich nightclub has been arrested.
Speaking outside the Durban Magistrate’s Court, the accused businessman’s defence attorney Davin Moodley told Independent Media his client was considering his plea on charges relating to the fatal shooting of Mbewana outside the Rich nightclub, apparently after an argument that involved a woman.
The shooting that took place two weeks ago, around midnight in the parking lot of the Umgeni Business Park where the club is situated, was captured on CCTV.
The accused in the matter has been charged with one count of murder and one of firing a gun in public.
He first appeared at the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, but the matter was postponed for the next day due to court’s busy schedule.
He was being kept at Sydenham SAPS.
Prosecutor Calvin Govender asked for the postponement of the bail application based on the fact that the investigating officers and the State were yet to verify the suspect’s addresses.
Magistrate Melanie de Jager ruled in favour of the prosecution’s application, to give the State time to further investigate the suspect’s particulars, including his citizenship.
Govender said the suspect, who apparently bought a white Rolls Royce sedan from an upmarket car dealer in Hillcrest, outside Durban, on September 1, had two properties in Durban which had been verified. He also apparently had two other properties in Sandton, Johannesburg, and another house in Matatiele, Eastern Cape, which were yet to be verified.
Govender was also concerned that the suspect might be a foreigner, and as a result, the Department of Home Affairs will be contacted to verify this information.
In addition, the gun that was used in the shooting has not been recovered, and Govender told the court that if the suspect was released on bail, he might intimidate witnesses, including seven those who pointed him out at an identity parade held on Wednesday.
In pushing for the postponement of the bail application, Govender raised the fact that the suspect was only handed over by his lawyers to police on Tuesday, two weeks after the crime.
It is believed that the suspect had an interest in multiple venture capital businesses whose purpose was to finance struggling businesses.
The value of his businesses was unknown but was likely to have been adversely affected by the Covid-19 lockdown, and his continued detention could further negative reverberations for his business.
Mbewana was a civil engineer and a senior official in the project management unit at the King Cetshwayo District Municipality. Besides being an ANC activist, he was also a former SA Students Congress treasurer.
When family members of Mbewana saw the suspect for the first time on Thursday, his 56-year-old mother Lulama Mbewana cried uncontrollably as he walked into the dock.
The mother said, of her four children, Mbewana was the breadwinner as he was the only one with a stable job in the family.
He had improved the family’s life by building his mother a decent house.
Mbewana enjoyed the finer things in life and travelled the world, buying high-end designer labels.
His girlfriend Mbalenhle Mtshali, who is the mother of his two young children, said Mbewana would spend money buying expensive clothing online for his loved ones.
Mtshali said he was a lovable person.
“He was a non-violent person and always laughed. He would buy clothes from Matchesfashion.com, in Italy, Germany and everywhere.
“Overseas shops knew him and they would send him their specific brands for him to wear for marketing.
“We were due to travel to Dubai in December. We both owned a consulting company, which worked with the Department of Transport and private companies, doing environmental consulting,” said Mtshali.
ANC Youth League members also attended the suspect’s court appearance.