KZN detectives investigating politically related murders seeking suspects

KZN detectives investigating politically related murders seeking suspects

Minister of Police General Bheki Cele. Picture: EPA-EFE / NIC BOTHMA

Minister of Police Bheki Cele says he wants the task team investigating political killings in the province to answer for a failed probe.

Detectives investigating politically related murders in KwaZulu-Natal are appealing for assistance in locating two wanted men, Sifiso Steven Mabaso, 50, and Sipho Khomba Mabaso, 37.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said warrants of arrest had been issued by the Estcourt Magistrates Court.

“It is alleged that on 15 September 2018 at 5.30pm, Jabulani Mazibuko, 44, was travelling with another passenger on the R103 near Cornfields in Estcourt when they were attacked.

“The assailants opened fire at their vehicle and Mazibuko was shot and fatally wounded whilst his passenger survived the attack. Mazibuko sustained gunshot wounds to the head and was declared dead at the scene,” Naicker said.

Naicker said charges of murder and attempted murder were opened at the Estcourt police station.

“Detectives probing the case arrested two suspects for murder and attempted murder. They have made several court appearances and the case was remanded to 11 October 2019.

“We are appealing to anyone with information that can assist the investigative team in locating them to contact Constable Mdlalose 083 333 5550 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.”

Meanwhile, Police Minister Bheki Cele reportedly wants the task team investigating political killings in the province to answer over failed investigations.

IOL reported that this came after charges were withdrawn last week in another high profile murder.

The charges were reportedly withdrawn on Friday by the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court.

The six men who were let of the hook had been charged with the killing of Msawenkosi Mchunu last year. Mchunu was reportedly a staunch supporter of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The minister’s spokesperson, Lirandzu Themba, said the task team was expected to give Cele a report on the withdrawal of the charges.

However, the minister reportedly still had full confidence in the task team and was satisfied with the progress that had been made, Themba told the publication.

“Notwithstanding hiccups, which are much less than the gains that have been made,” Themba was quoted as saying.

She added that Cele had said President Cyril Ramaphosa had expressed that since the installation of the task team, the murder rate had decreased in KwaZulu-Natal.

Themba said the minister stated that Ramaphosa also said that he believed that through improved working relations with the national director of public prosecutions, he was certain the team would reach the targets it had set.

The withdrawal of the charges indicated that criminals were professionals that could outrun the task team, according to a criminal expert Professor Johan Burger when speaking to the publication.

The task team consisted of representatives from the State Security Agency, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the Hawks and justice, Burger said.

The publication reported that the spokesperson of the NPA in KwaZulu-Natal, Natasha Kara, did not respond to questions.

(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu.)

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