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Sam Holdings owner Sam 'Mshengu' Chabalala's depot manager shot dead

Slain Nkosinathi Ngcongo was a manager at one of Sam Chabalala's businesses. / SUPPLIED
Slain Nkosinathi Ngcongo was a manager at one of Sam Chabalala's businesses. / SUPPLIED

A manager at one of flamboyant businessman Sam "Mshengu" Chabalala's depots was shot dead just days after he gave the Hawks a sworn affidavit relating to an investigation about his boss.

Nkosinathi Ngcongo, 30, was shot in the head and chest as he was about to leave the premises in Bethal, Mpumalanga, on Thursday.

Police spokesperson Const Thomas Mogadime said one person has been arrested for Ngcongo's murder and will appear in court soon on murder charges.

But police would not say whether Ngcongo's killing was linked to Chabalala' s arrest.

A source close to the investigation, however, confirmed to Sowetan that Ngcongo had met the Hawks as part of their investigations.

"He made an affidavit under oath. We are investigating a hit. He was very close to the businessman," the insider said.

Thandeka Ngcongo, his sister, said it was suspicious that none of her brother's possessions were taken during the shooting.

"We don't know why he was killed. We received a call from the police on Thursday night informing us that Nathi was shot and that he was dead," Thandeka said yesterday.

Chabalala, who was arrested over a week ago on suspicions that he acquired his South African identity fraudulently, was expected to appear in court today for a formal bail hearing. He also faces charges of fraud, bribery and being in possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

According to Chabalala's friend who spoke on condition of anonymity, Ngcongo was no longer employed at Sam Holdings after he allegedly had a fallout with the business tycoon about two months ago.

"They had a small argument after Ngcongo crashed Sam's Audi RS8 during a car-spinning festival in the Vaal. He was no longer working for Sam and he was not even allowed on Sam's property," the friend said.

Sowetan visited Sam Holding's Bethal offices yesterday and found four men who claimed not to have been around when Ngcongo was shot dead.

"We heard about the shooting but we were not here. We don't know what happened," said one of them, who refused to give his name.

Thandeka told Sowetan that the family was not aware of Chabalala's arrest until they found out about Ngcongo's death.

Speaking to Sowetan outside Bethal police station, Thandeka said her brother began working with Chabalala five years ago and was a manager at Sam Holdings.

"We called Sam but we could not get through to him on his phone. Then we found out that he was arrested," said Thandeka.

Asked whether she had any idea about her brother's fallout with Chabalala following his arrest, Thandeka said: "As far as we know, he still worked as a manager at Sam's business. We don't know anything beyond that. Nathi didn't tell us anything about his business dealings."

Thandeka said her brother always kept his work dealings to himself.

"We are waiting for the police to tell us what happened because we're all searching for answers at the moment," she said

Thandeka said the family last saw Ngcongo a few days before the annual Durban July event.

"He came to see our mother and he seemed happy. He didn't show any signs of being in trouble. Nathi rarely opened up to our mother because he didn't want to worry her," she said.

"Right now we just want to take his body back home to Durban so he can rest."

Ngcongo's last visit to the family preceded his employer's opulent display of a 72-car convoy of high-end cars to the Durban July.

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