Mayoral murder hearing postponed

THE murder case for the killing of a municipal deputy mayor in Mpumalanga was yesterday postponed to December 4.

On Monday Florence Sibongile Lukhele pleaded guilty to the charges of conspiracy to murder in the Middleburg circuit of the North Gauteng high court. But, Judge Coetzee found her guilty of murder and sentenced her to an effective 20 years imprisonment.

She will only be considered for parole after serving 18 years.

Yesterday the judge indicated that he could not continue presiding over the case against the three men also accused of killing Govan Mbeki municipality deputy mayor Nomsa Mtsweni as he had already heard the testimony of Lukhele.

He then postponed the case to allow for another judge to be appointed.

Lukhele was arrested on allegations that she hired Skhosiphi Bongokwakhe Gwala, 45, Eric Themba Ntombela, 35, and Josiah Moloi, 40, to murder Mtsweni.

The three allegedly shot and killed Mtsweni at her house in Leslie, Mpumalanga, in June 2007.

It is alleged that Mtsweni, who was vocal against corruption, was murdered for her moral stance.

After her murder the provincial organised crime unit managed to trace the three suspects. They have been remanded in custody pending their trial date.