Self-confessed killer and reserve cop on trial today

A FORMER police reservist who allegedly killed the deputy president of Swaziland's banned opposition party will go on trial from today.

Dumisani Mvelase Maduna, 31, who was a reserve constable in Mpumalanga, allegedly killed Gabriel Mkhumane, who was the deputy president of People's United Democratic Movement (Pudemo).

Pudemo has been banned in Swaziland since 1983 since political parties are outlawed in that country.

Maduna's trial will start on December 7 and is expected to run until December 11.

The police say Maduna found Mkhumane and a female sitting in a car at Tekwane near KaNyamazane on April 2 last year.

"He allegedly held the two at gunpoint and demanded money. Maduna forced his way into the car and drove with them to Ntokozweni Dam, also in Tekwane," police spokesperson Leonard Hlathi said.

"Maduna later allegedly forced Mkhumane into the boot of the car and then repeatedly raped the woman before ordering Mkhumane out of the boot. He then covered Mkhumane's head with his jacket and shot him dead."

Hlathi said Mkhumane's companion later escaped when the suspect took her to a filling station where he tried but failed to withdraw cash from Mkhumane's bank account at an ATM.

Maduna was arrested on October 29 this year after being identified by Mkhumane's companion at an identity parade.

He has been remanded in custody since then.

Hlathi said Maduna had already confessed to the murder of Mkhumane.

"He has also been charged with two counts of attempted murder for an incident that occurred in April last year," Hlathi said.

"Maduna allegedly threw stones at Solomon Msimango's house near KaNyamazane and when Msimango and his wife came out to investigate the noise he shot at them.

Also in May 2008, Hlathi said, Maduna allegedly fired six shots at his mother-in-law after an argument.

It has been established that he used his service pistol in all the incidents. The cases will be heard concurrently.