SA soldier rearrested

Riot Hlatshwayo and Sakhile Mokoena

Riot Hlatshwayo and Sakhile Mokoena

A South African soldier who recently returned from a peacekeeping mission in Burundi was rearrested yesterday in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga, on a murder charge.

The 42-year-old South African National Defence Force officer was arrested at his home in Rolle village early yesterday morning for the murder of Sam Hlungwani, who was shot dead in August this year.

Police spokesman Moatshe Ngoepe confirmed the arrest and said the soldier would appear in the Mhala magistrate court today. The murder of Hlungwani, 38, who was killed on his doorstep, was linked to ongoing political turmoil in the Bushbuckridge area.

Hlungwani was a state witness in an assault and public violence case in which people disrupted an ANC meeting to elect councillors.

He had already testified in court and his evidence was now being used to decide the case.

The soldier was allegedly hired to kill Hlungwani.

He was initially arrested for the murder, but later released because of insufficient evidence.

He was rearrested this weekend when he visited his family and was identified by the dead man's wife during an identification parade. Ngoepe said investigations were continuing and more arrests were expected.