Party suspends Nkosi

McKeed Kotlolo

McKeed Kotlolo

The executive mayor of Govan Mbeki municipality in Mpumalanga has been suspended without pay after being arrested in connection with the murder of his deputy.

Sipho Nkosi was arrested last week while attending a bail application for the main accused in the murder case of Thandi Mtsweni.

But Sibongile "Sdudla" Lukhele, 32, implicated Nkosi in the murder, saying he had paid her R30000 for the hit on his graft-busting deputy.

The ANC's Mpumalanga working committee on Monday suspended Nkosi "without remuneration pending the outcome of the court process".

The death of Mtsweni and Nkosi's arrest have left the municipality without a leader, and the working committee will meet next week to appoint an acting mayor and deputy.

The committee warned other ANC councillors who might be "found to be implicated in the assassination case" that they too would be summarily suspended without remuneration.

Yesterday the bail application of Madoda Nkambule, one of six accused in the murder, was postponed in the Evander magistrates' court to the end of the month.

Nkambule is alleged to be the man Lukhele approached to organise hitmen to murder Mtsweni.

Mtsweni was killed outside her home in Leslie on June 27 in front of her husband, Bafana Khanye and their son Zwelakhe, 14, when they returned from visiting her mother in a local township.

Meanwhile, the investigating officer, Inspector Difaga Malope in Mtsweni's murder case will not be removed from the case.

This is despite claims by Lukhele's defence advocate Johann de Necker that Malope had failed to arrest Nkosi because he had been paid a ribe of R20000.

Provincial police commissioner Afrika Khumalo said he was not going to remove Malope from the case since the police investigators were working as a team.