Reservist cop up for murder, rape

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

The police reservist accused of murdering Thandukuhle Gabriel Mkhumane appeared in the KaBokweni magistrate's court in Mpumalanga on Friday.

Mkhumane was deputy president of Swaziland's opposition political party, the People's United Democratic Movement.

The reservist, Dumisane Maduna, faces several charges, including murder with aggravating circumstances, rape and armed robbery. He was not asked plead.

The court remanded him in custody pending his next court appearance on November 17.

The Mpumalanga police organised crime unit arrested Maduna on Wednesday last week at Nelspruit prison, where he had been detained on a separate charge of attempted murder.

Maduna, 31, was a reserve policeman at the KaNyamazane police station when he allegedly held Mkhumane and his female companion up at gunpoint in the Tekwane region.

"He demanded money from Mkumane," said Mpumalanga police organised crime unit spokesman Captain Leonard Hlathi.

The suspect drove him and his companion to a dam near Tekwane, where he forced Mkhumane into the boot before repeatedly raping the woman, Hlathi said

He Maduna finally released Mkhumane from the boot and demanded that he hand over his bank card and PIN.

The suspect then allegedly shot his victim twice in the head, killing him.

Maduna allegedly drove to the KaNyamazane filling station with the woman, where he tried to withdraw money from the deceased's account.

"The woman escaped and raised the alarm," Hlathi said. "The suspect drove off and abandoned the car near a shopping complex."

Police recovered the state issued firearm used in the murder.