Man accused of murdering IFP councillor gets life behind bars

Prosecutors have secured convictions in three politically motivated killings in KZN. Stock photo.
Prosecutors have secured convictions in three politically motivated killings in KZN. Stock photo.
Image: Allan Swart/123RF

An accused in the 2019 murder of an IFP councillor has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

The councillor, Mfanzo Nzuza, was gunned down at his home in Kranskop, KwaZulu-Natal, in 2019.

“The national political task team in KwaZulu-Natal investigated and arrested a suspect, Khumkani Gumede, initially for being in possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition in Kranskop.

'The firearm, a 9mm pistol, was sent for ballistic testing and was positively linked to the murder of councillor Nzuza,” police spokesperson Brig Vish Naidoo said.

According to Naidoo, after further investigations the team identified Thando Chamane as a second suspect before he was tracked down to his hiding place in Orange Farm, Gauteng.

Gumede appeared in court together with Chamane and they were both denied bail to allow the team to finalise its investigations.

“Thanda Chamane was found guilty for murder and possession of a prohibited firearm and ammunition, and he was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, 13 years for possession of a prohibited firearm and four years for unlawful possession of ammunition.

“Accused two, Khumkani Gumede, was found guilty of possession of a prohibited firearm and ammunition and was sentenced to 13 years and four years respectively.

“Gumede was acquitted on the murder charge,” Naidoo added.

The task team was established to probe rampant killings of politicians in KwaZulu-Natal.

Police managers welcomed the progress and lauded the team for securing convictions in other cases.

These include that of an ANC member in the Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma municipality, Nkosinathi Ngcobo, where his former lover, a former professional nurse, Nokhona Mpanza, was found guilty in the Pietermaritzburg High Court for her role in the murder.

“Mpanza was sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment of which five years is suspended for five  years. Her co-accused, Zamani Cele, awaits his fate while the trial continues,” said Naidoo.

Another solved case is that of the death of an ANC Youth League member in Umlazi region, Bongani Mhlongo.

“Mfanafuthi Zulu was sentenced in the Durban Regional Court to an effective 10 years' imprisonment for his role in the murder of Mhlongo,” Naidoo added.

While many suspected politically motivated killings are yet to be solved, Naidoo said the political task team in KZN will continue striving for justice in these politically related crimes.

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