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Family faces fresh delays in case as defence calls for murder-accused’s psychiatric assessment

Former ANCYL secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa was murdered in 2017.
Former ANCYL secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa was murdered in 2017.
Image: LERATU MADUNA/ GALLO

The continued delays in the murder trial of former ANCYL secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa has opened fresh wounds for the family.

This is according to the slain politician’s brother Lwazi Magaqa, who spoke at the Pietermaritzburg high court on Tuesday after the postponement of their matter.

“We are still in the dark about what may have caused his assassination,” Lwazi said.

He said though it was five years since Magaqa’s assassination, the family was still grieving.

Lwazi Magaqa, the brother of slain politician Sindiso Magaqa on Monday said the family was still grieving, five years after his death.
Lwazi Magaqa, the brother of slain politician Sindiso Magaqa on Monday said the family was still grieving, five years after his death.
Image: Mfundo Mkhize

Lwazi said his brother, who was a father of four, had been a breadwinner to the Mzimkhulu family and they were torn at not knowing why had he had been gunned down. 

The case was postponed to Tuesday after advocate Shane Matthews filed an application for his client, Mlungisi Ncalane, 33, to undergo psychiatric evaluation.

Ncalane was on the dock alongside, Sibonelo Myeza, 39, and Mbulelo Mpofana, 34.

The trio is out on bail while the fourth accused, Sibusiso Ncengwa, 30, is serving time for another matter. He is detained at Kokstad Prison.

Back in 2019, a court had heard how Sibonelo Myeza, a former cop and now maritime operational manager, Mbulelo Mpofana, a “tenderpreneur”, and Mxolisi Ncalane, also a former cop, planned the murder of Magaqa.

The trio hired two hitmen, who were initially instructed to carry out the hit on July 12, the day before Magaqa was actually gunned down.

During Monday’s proceedings, Ncengwa was conspicuous by his absence at court.

He is expected to also be present for proceedings on Tuesday.

The judge granted the order after state advocate Lawrence Gcaba had secured a consultation with a psychiatrist at the Fort Napier Hospital in Pietermaritzburg.

Ncalane is expected to consult the doctor in the company of his father.

The deceased’s confidante and close friend Thabiso Zulu said he was disappointed with the further delays.

“Bear in mind that we have had a succession of postponements, which drag up to a year. This gives us an impression that something is at play in the background,” said Zulu.

He said the release of the three suspects on bail was also questionable.

He was also suspicious of Ncalane’s sudden need for psychiatric evaluation.

“All these years he has been in police custody and was never sick, and now all of a sudden he is sickly. I am really concerned about this,” said Zulu.

While Zulu was hopeful that the matter would get on track, he also wished the trial would unravel the mysteries behind who had hatched the plot to kill Magaqa.

“These are just middlemen and one shooter who served as intermediaries. What we want is the masterminds.”

Zulu said he believed the names of some senior politicians who he believed were involved in Sandiso’s killing would come out once the trial gotunder way. 

On Monday, a strong security presence was maintained both inside and outside the courtroom.

A group of ANC supporters chanted songs outside the court.

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