No bail for suspects held in connection with the double murders of MKP pair

Bongani Mkhwanazi (left) Xolani Nzimande were gunned down last month. Picture: Supplied

Bongani Mkhwanazi (left) Xolani Nzimande were gunned down last month. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 20, 2024


The four suspects arrested in connection with the killing of uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) members, Bongani Mkhwanazi and Xolani Nzimande, will know their fate next month.

The suspects – Jackson Mphahlele, Sithembile Magasela, Mduduzi Ranyao and Sipho Xaba – appeared in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday and Wednesday facing two counts of murder, and charges of common assault, assault with GBH and discharging a firearm.

Magistrate Shakera Timol postponed the bail application to July 4 for further investigation.

Family members of the dead men said they will only be relieved once they see justice, after those who killed their loved ones are thrown behind bars for life.

A distraught aunt of Mkhwanazi, Buyisiwe Mkhwanazi, said the family and Mkhwanazi’s 2-year-old son, Nkosana, were not coping after the tragedy.

“The son always ask when will his father come back, and we can’t give him answers, it is difficult to explain to him what has happened to him. Sadly, the son will grow up without the father, who was killed like a dog together with his friend,” she said.

The court also learned that the suspects were allegedly assaulted when being transported from Boksburg Correctional Centre to court.

Their lawyer, Peter Zwane, pleaded with Timol to assist in getting separate transport for them to travel back to custody, however, she informed him that the application to request this was made at the 11th hour and there was not much that could have been done.

Zwane told the court that if measures were made, it would have saved or prevented any incident. However, after consulting her colleagues, Timol told Zwane it was reported that the suspects and other inmates were involved in a fight. Zwane insisted that his clients were in fact assaulted.

Mkhwanazi and Nzimande were shot and killed on May 26 in Katlehong, Ekurhuleni.

The matter is schedule five for all four suspects. After the media made an application to cover it, they were requested not to take photos or videos or mention the names of suspects’ companies, for safety.

Buyisiwe told journalists that the ruling was not fair, since their loved ones were attacked in public with pictures and videos showing them all over social media platforms and on people’s cellphones.

Reading the affidavits, Zwane said that accused number 1 said he has no conviction, no warrants of arrests and he is not a flight risk. Accused number 2 said he was previously convicted for common assault but has no pending cases, and has no passport, meaning he does not intend to flee. Accused number 3 has been convicted of possession of dagga, however, he is not violent and has no intention to flee.

Accused number 4 said he has no pending case. However, he has been convicted for robbery and sent to jail and came out on parole. He, too, said he will not flee.

All the suspects are members of a crime-fighting unit whose name is known to ‘The Star’.

According to the statement by the investigating officer, the two victims were walking with another man and three friends. As they prepared to cross the road, a Quantum minibus “looked like it would not stop at the stop sign”. He said that immediately when the taxi passed, one of the victims banged it on the back and shouted, “This is a stop sign!”

“The deceased and the taxi driver started fighting, and members of the crime-fighting unit approached the scene. Accused 1 is linked by witnesses as the person who shot and killed the two deceased.

“Accused 2, according to a witness, fired a shot in the air and committed assault. Accused 3 is linked by witnesses as assaulting the deceased.

“Accused 4 is linked by witnesses as a person who unleashed one beer bottle on the forehead of one of the deceased. The late MKP members were found with bullet wounds. One died on the scene, the other on the way to the hospital,” said the investigating officer.

MKP members came in numbers to support the families. They chanted Struggle songs and held placards stating “justice” and “no bail”.

MKP members singing Struggle songs outside the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court. | Ntombi Nkosi

Amid the news that the case was postponed, there was drama outside court where there was an exchange of words and swearing from some individuals, however, it was not clear whether it was supporters of MKP or of the suspects.

The Star

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