National 6.9.2016 09:28 am

Councillor among eight in court in connection with house torching

The fire which gutted the house. Picture: Rekord Centurion

The fire which gutted the house. Picture: Rekord Centurion

The ward councillor was arrested on Saturday night.

The Mpumalanga police said eight suspects appeared before the Barberton Magistrates’ Court on Monday, three charged with murder and five including, a ward councillor, charged with malicious damage to property and robbery.

Spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said ANC ward councillor Mandla Mamba, Sihle Nkambule, 24, Sabelo Mlotshwa, 20, Themba Mwali, 33, and Gift Mnisi, 25, were remanded in custody until Friday for further investigation.

Benedict Mhlanga, 28, Sipho Mbowane, 31, and Boikie Malambe Mokoena, 30, arrested for murder, were remanded in custody until September 12 for a formal bail application.

He said the three arrested on murder charges were arrested in connection with the murder of a 30-year-old man who was killed on Saturday, September 3, at about 6am in Barberton.

“Police received a report about a man who was assaulted by three men, and when they arrived at the scene, they found him in a critical condition,” said Hlathi.

He was rushed to hospital, where he died from his injuries shortly after his arrival.

Shortly after the murder incident, two houses belonging to two of the suspects were set alight by a group of people who are believed to be friends of the victim, he said.

The Fire and Rescue Team extinguished the fire, but in the process they were attacked by the group who chased them away.

One firefighter was robbed of his firearm, and the group proceeded to set alight the fire trucks.

“First to be arrested was the five suspects, including the councillor, on Saturday, at about 8.30pm, of which the fifth suspect was brought to book today [Monday]. All five were charged with robbery and malicious damaged to property. The trio for the murder were nabbed during the early hours of Sunday at about 2.30am,” he said.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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