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Suspects held ‘planning meeting’ to kill activist Loyiso Nkohla and his wife, court hears

Nyameka Nkohla, widow of slain activist Loyiso Nkohla. File photo.
Nyameka Nkohla, widow of slain activist Loyiso Nkohla. File photo.
Image: Michael Walker

Two suspects allegedly involved in the April murder of activist Loyiso Nkohla, who was gunned down during a community meeting at Philippi in Cape Town, appeared in court on Friday. 

Mzubanzi Chulayo, 41, was arrested on Monday as a fourth suspect in the case and appeared with co-accused Mziyanda Mdlungu, 38, at the Athlone magistrate’s court. 

State prosecutor advocate John Reyneveld told the court Chulayo was allegedly linked to the case as he, Thobani Maxengana and others were allegedly part of a planning meeting to kill Loyiso and his wife, Nyameka. 

He was identified as one of the suspected shooters during an identification parade, and Reyneveld said cellphone mapping placed him at the crime scene. 

In Chulayo’s warning statement, taken down by a police captain, he allegedly admitted to being part of the planned hit and was in possession of a firearm at the scene. However, he denied being a shooter.

Nkhola’s wife said in a statement that Maxengana, who died on November 17 in a holding cell, was the "mastermind" who allegedly offered the co-accused R20,000 to murder the couple. 

“It kills me to learn that I too was supposed to have been killed and leave my small children orphaned by someone who my husband had opened doors and provided opportunity for,” she said. 

Chulayo allegedly confirmed in his statement that he was paid that sum for the murder. 

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said Chulayo told the court he would hire a private lawyer while Mdlungu's lawyer had withdrawn due to financial instructions.

The case was postponed to December 11. 


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