25 March 2019

South Africa: 'My Name Has Been Tarnished' - Harry Gwala Mayor After Murder Charges Withdrawn

Harry Gwala District Mayor Mluleki Ndobe is angry, saying his name was tarnished when he was accused of the murder of a former ANC Youth League (ANCYL) secretary Sindiso Magaqa.

The charges were provisionally withdrawn on Monday after the State submitted that there was insufficient evidence.

After court proceedings adjourned, Ndobe spoke to reporters at the Umzimkhulu Magistrate's Court.

"I am very angry. I can be accused of anything but definitely not murder or conspiracy to commit murder," he said after appearing in court alongside Sbonelo Myeza, 39, Mbulelo Mbofana, 34, and Zweliphansi Skhosana, 48, amid heightened security.

Each of the accused were charged with one count of murder and two of attempted murder.

Asked if he thought the case was a political conspiracy against him, Ndobe said: "All I can say is that my name has been tarnished for wrong reasons, and I don't know what the motives for that are, but I will consult with the ANC leadership on the issue."

He was also asked if ANC provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli had asked him to step down.

He replied: "No he didn't, but we have been communicating... "

Ndobe said he had received support from the party's national and provincial executive committees since his arrest, as well as "society at large".

"I am really humbled with the support that I have received."

Ndobe and his family were emotional and jubilant outside court.

He said he would consult his legal team and also give feedback to the leadership of the ANC on a way forward.

Ndobe was arrested last week in connection with the 2017 murder of Magaqa. Magaqa died in hospital in September 2017 - about two months after he was shot in Umzimkhulu.

Umzimkhulu councillors, Nonsikelelo Mafa and Jabu Mzizi-Msiya, were wounded on the day of Magaqa's ambush.

Source: News24

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