Lawyer Lunga Kheswa said his client Skhumbuzo Nxumalo was granted bail pending the outcome of a high court appeal.
In February, magistrate Trevor Levitt found Nxumalo guilty of shooting dead Inkatha Freedom Party supporter Cebisile Shezi near the Thembalihle railway station in KwaMashu on October 6, 2012. He was sentenced to nine years in prison.
Nxumalo fired into a crowd of supporters who had converged on the National Freedom Party councillor’s house he had been assigned to protect.
Nxumalo argued during his trial that he faced scores of IFP supporters threatening to burn down the house of Mgezeni “Bhungu” Gwala, and that he only fired warning shots.
Levitt rejected Nxumalo’s claim that the crowd entered the property. He said that although Nxumalo had not specifically intended for Shezi to be killed, he knew someone could be killed when he fired his weapon.
The shooting happened after Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa addressed IFP supporters at a sports field in A-section KwaMashu earlier that day. He did so in an attempt to reduce tension after the abduction of IFP councillor Themba Xulu.
Xulu was out on bail after being arrested for allegedly trying to burn down Gwala’s house. Xulu’s body was found the next day. He had been shot.
Levitt found Nxumalo acted unlawfully and exceeded the legitimate bounds of self-defence.
“You went further than you should have,” he said at the time.
However, he accepted that the shooting was not premeditated and that Nxumalo acted on the spur of the moment.
Councillor Mgezeni “Bhungu” Gwala, two of his sons and another security guard were initially charged along with Nxumalo, but charges were withdrawn against them during the course of the trial.
Kheswa said he was unsure when his client’s appeal would be heard.