Drama as police hide Zondi suspect from media and ANC

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

There was drama yesterday at the Umlazi magistrate's court as police prevented ANC members from seeing a man linked to the brutal killing of Inkosi Mbongeleni Zondi a fortnight ago.

Zondi, 37, a direct descendent of the famous Inkosi Bhambatha Zondi who led the 1906 Poll Tax uprising against the British, was buried on Saturday.

A group of ANC supporters had gathered outside the court demanding that the suspect should not be granted bail.

As they entered the court building, police did not tell them the exact court room the suspect was going to appear in. This resulted in them going from one court room to the next. Members of the media were also sent from pillar to post by the same police who apparently did not want them to see the suspect.

Although the police gave no reasons for their odd behaviour, it is believed that the intention was to divert the media and public's attention away from the suspect.

Makhosabo "Swayo" Mkhize, 25, subsequently appeared before magistrate Elosphie Botha.

Mkhize hardly spent 10 minutes in the court room and was soon whisked away by a heavily armed police escort.

He was remanded in custody and will appear again at the Umlazi magistrate's court on Friday, February 13.

Zondi died when gunmen in a VW Polo drove alongside his Toyota RunX and sprayed it with AK47 rifle bullets. He died instantly and police recovered more than 50 spent carriages at the scene.