Bail decision postponed for trio implicated in Magaqa murder

All the three accused Sbonelo Myeza, 39, Mbulelo Mbofana, 34, and Mxolisi Ncalene appears at the Umzimkhulu Magistrate's Court. Each faced one count of murder and two of attempted murder of councillor Sindiso Magaqa. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng / African News Agency (ANA)

All the three accused Sbonelo Myeza, 39, Mbulelo Mbofana, 34, and Mxolisi Ncalene appears at the Umzimkhulu Magistrate's Court. Each faced one count of murder and two of attempted murder of councillor Sindiso Magaqa. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng / African News Agency (ANA)

The court heard on Tuesday that the plot to kill former ANCYL secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa was allegedly hatched the year before his death.

The decision to deny or grant bail for three men implicated in a plot to kill former ANC Youth League (ANCYL) secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa was on Wednesday postponed to next week.

Former policemen Sibonelo Myeza and Mxolisi Ncalene, and businessman Mbulelo Mpofana, heard on Wednesday at the uMzimkhulu Magistrate’s Court that a decision would be made on April 25.

The trio was initially charged alongside Harry Gwala District Municipality mayor Mluleki Ndobe and uMzimkhulu Local Municipality manager Zweliphansi Skhosana, but charges against Ndobe and Skhosana were provisionally withdrawn due to lack of evidence.

The three men have been charged with murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to commit the crimes. Given that the offences are schedule six, they would have had to prove “extraordinary circumstances” to be released on bail.

It is not yet clear on whose alleged authority they were working – if any – and what the motive for the attack was. The court heard on Tuesday that the plot to kill Magaqa was allegedly hatched the year before his death.

The state has alleged that the three conspired to hire hitmen Jabulani Mdunge and Sibusiso Malusi Ncengwa to carry out the assassination.

Magaqa – a PR councillor at uMzimkhulu Local Municipality at the time of his death – was ambushed while with colleagues Nontsikelelo Mafa and Jabu Msiya in July 2017.

Mafa and Msiya survived the attack but Magaqa died two months later in hospital “from complications due to gunshot wounds”, according to police. Mafa and Msiya were placed under protection.

In September 2017, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, known as the Hawks, announced that Mdunge, who lived between Durban’s Berea and a KwaMashu hostel, was killed in a shoot-out with police on the N2 between Kokstad and Harding after being linked to a cash-in-transit robbery.

In September 2018, police minister Bheki Cele announced that Ncengwa – the alleged triggerman – had been arrested. Ncengwa is currently incarcerated and will appear before the court later this month.

African News Agency (ANA)

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