Plot to kill Sindiso Magaqa began in 2016, court hears
The plot to have ANC Youth League (ANCYL) general secretary Sindiso Magaqa murdered is alleged to have begun in October 2016, nine months before he was fatally gunned down.
This was revealed at the Umzimkhulu Magistrate's Court on Tuesday when the three men accused of Magaqa's murder made an appearance.
The court 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.
The three men are also charged with the attempted murders of councillors Jabu Msiya and Nontsikelelo Mafu.
These new developments in the case were brought to the fore when the investigating officer, Warrant Officer Jim Sekano, took the stand to give evidence and provide reasons as to why the accused should be denied bail.
Senior state advocate Sohana Moodley questioned Sekano, who informed the court that he had 28 years of service and had been stationed under the national task team investigating political killings in KZN since July 2018.
Sekano emphasised that the trio were a flight risk and could interfere with the case by destroying or hiding evidence not yet uncovered by the police or by intimidating witnesses.
He highlighted that Myeza had hired the two hitmen - Jabulani "Sgoro" Mdunge, who was killed in a foiled cash-in-transit heist last year, and Sibusiso Ncengwa, who was arrested and will appear in the regional magistrate’s court on April 24.
Mpofana is alleged to have provided the money for the job and paid the hitmen.
Just before court broke for lunch, Sekano alleged that the three accused were also likely to have been involved in the deaths of councillors Khaya Thobela and Mduduzi Tshibase, whose murders took place in Umzimkhulu in 2017, just one month apart.
The court was unable to finalise their bail application. The matter is set to resume on Wednesday.