Times of Eswatini
Nurses’ bail opposed in Nkonka killing
MBABANE – The Crown has opposed the Matsanjeni Health Centre nurse’s application for bail in the matter where some residents of Nkonka attacked and killed four robbery suspects.
Ntsetselelo Nxumalo (32) of Nkonka in the Shiselweni Region is one of eight residents who allegedly murdered four suspects, who allegedly terrorised community members in the area by breaking into their businesses and homesteads, and demanding money.
Those who did not have money were allegedly hacked with bush knives by the suspects.
Ntsetselelo informed the court that the suspects also demanded food from some of the people they attacked and they hacked textile workers they felt had cooked bad food.
The suspects are Fanele Shabangu, Mfanawenkhosi Mhlanga, Sikhanyiso Mngometulu and Bonginkosi Sidudla Shiba.
The quartet was killed by a mob on January 29, 2023 at Nkonka, under Matsanjeni.
The Crown filed a notice of intention to oppose Nxumalo’s application for bail yesterday.
It will state its reasons for opposing the application in an answering affidavit it is yet to file.
Nxumalo filed his bail application after the Crown opposed another application by some of his co-accused.
These were Mfundo Comfort Casseria (26), Mlungisi Bongani Ndlovu (33), Mlungisi Lunga Nxumalo (38 and Sandile Hemmar Nxumalo (34).
The first accused person to file an application for bail among the others was a former police officer, Joseph Fondololo Mabuza (64).
The court granted the elderly man bail in the amount of E50 000. He was ordered to pay E3 000 in cash and the balance in the form of surety. His bail application was not opposed.
Mabuza and his co-accused, who include a pupil, are facing four murder charges. Some of them face other charges such as arson and kidnapping. The eighth accused, Senzo Trevor Gravel Vilakati (35) of Gege under Chief Velamuva, filed his application separately and it was also opposed by the Crown.
Nxumalo operated a drinking spot in the area and his shop was broken into.
He alleged that one Khetha Phakathi and Malibongwe Mhlanga threatened to kill his shopkeeper.
The accused narrated that on January 20, 2023, a group of five suspects committed five housebreaking and theft offences in one night.
“They went to the homestead of one Qedusizi Ndlovu and fired two shots and demanded money as he also owns a shop in the area. They got away with about seven cellphones.
“Ndlovu’s wife was able to identify Sidudla Shiba, Fanele Shabangu and Gazi Mngomezulu. Two others were standing outside.
“From Ndlovu’s home, along the way, they robbed one Sanele Mamba of the shoes he was wearing and a cellphone.
“He was together with Ndabenhle who was also robbed.
“After that they crossed the road from Ndlovu’s home towards the borderline and broke into a Ndlangamandla homestead.
“They demanded money at gunpoint as the Ndlangamandla family runs a shebeen. There was no money available and they hacked Gogo Ndlangamandla in the back with a bush knife. Ndlangamandla was able to identify Sidudla Shiba,” alleged Nxumalo.
The accused told the court that on the same night, the suspects moved to a Khumalo homestead, which is also close to the borderline.
He submitted that they broke into a number of houses and robbed families of money and cellphones.
In the morning, according to Nxumalo, wallets and documents belonging to the members of the Khumalo family were found along the borderline, an indication that they had crossed to the Republic of South Africa.
Nxumalo informed the court that on or around January 27, 2023, at around 12:30am, Khetha and Malibongwe broke into the rented flats of women employed at the factories in Lavumisa.
“They went from house to house demanding money, cellphones, groceries and other valuables.
“They would dish for themselves food that had been prepared by the women and hacked whoever they felt did not prepare the best food and did not have any money or valuables to give them.
“They broke into about seven houses in the same compound and they did not cover their faces.
“They would mention their names and even turn on the cellphone torch so they could be identified. They also informed the women that the police would not do anything to them because they feared them,” he narrated.
Judge Mzwandile Fakudze heard Nxumalo’s bail application. Nxumalo is represented by Lindokuhle Shongwe of Mabila Attorneys.