BUSINESSMAN ARRESTED FOR KILLING COUSIN
A Bulandzeni based businessman has been arrested and charged with the murder of his cousin while in dagga fields in the northern Hhohho region.
Vusi Mduduzi Dlamini is alleged to have used his illegal firearm in the murder of his cousin Thembinkosi Magagula who was, after the killing left in the dagga fields for three weeks before his body was found after being reported missing. According to the charge sheet, Dlamini of Bulandzeni under Chief Ndlaluhlaza allegedly committed the offence at a farm where dagga growers use for their illegal herb trade.
The accused aged 36, was in the company of the deceased when the incident happened. Yesterday, Dlamini filed an urgent bail application at the High Court where he appeared before Judge Ticheme Dlamini.
In his bail application, he claimed that he did not kill the deceased person, but was in his company together with his brother Nkosingphile and another cousin, Njabulo Nhlabatsi and were in search of his heard of cattle that had gone missing. He claimed that his cousin advised him that the cattle had strayed to a government cattle ranch at Ebulandzeni, hence he sought the company of the three in search of the cattle.
He said the place where the cattle had been seen was known for dagga growing, thus he decided to carry with him his illegal firearm for their own protection and that they searched until the night when they decided to abandon the search. However, on their way back the accused person claimed they decided to take a short cut since they were exhausted and found themselves trespassing on dagga fields and whilst in the middle of the dagga fields, they heard three gunshots fired at close range. “Trying to scare whosoever was shooting at us I, in turn fired my firearm in the air and at that time everyone ran helter skater and without taking due consideration of who was missing I took cover in hiding,” the accused stated in his affidavit.
It later transpired they were being shot at by Mozambican nationals who had been manning the dagga fields, and following the shooting incident, he was subsequently arrested and charged for illegal possession of a firearm and was admitted to bail fixed at E2 000 by the Piggs Peak Magistrate’s Court. He said he was granted bail while the crown was awaiting a ballistic report taken from the scene of crime and while out on bail, it transpired that one person was missing and that was the deceased and as a result a search team was commissioned and he was found in the dagga fields.
It was not until on Tuesday September 26, 2017 that he was called by the investigating officer Inspector DuPont who informed him at Buhleni Police Post that the ballistic report was back from South Africa and advised him that its results were positive to his illegal firearm. To that end, he was subsequently charged with the murder of the deceased hence he has filed the urgent bail application pending his date with the court for the charge of murder which he stated would plead not guilty to.