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Court awaits DNA test results in chief whip murder case

The case against four men implicated in the murder of the late chief whip of the Ehlanzeni district municipality in Mpumalanga, Johan Ndlovu, was on Wednesday postponed for DNA test results to be made available at their next court appearance.
Bongani Mkasi, 27, of Belfast village, Life Khoza, 22, and Mundi Khoza, 22, from Tshabalala village, and former police reservist at the Calcutta police station, John Ndlovu, 35, from Somerset village, all near Hazyview, briefly appeared in the Mhala magistrate’s court.
They were not asked to plead to charges of murder, armed robbery and the possession of an unlicensed firearm.
The accused were remanded in custody until June 27 for further police investigation, which includes the availability of DNA test results to determine if the hair and blood samples found on the crime scene match any of theirs.
Mkasi and the two Khozas (not related) were arrested on January 7, two days after the chief whip was found shot dead in a field near his home in Edinburgh village (also known as Luphungu), near Thulamahashe.
The former police reservist was arrested on January 14.
Protesters gathered outside the court and demanded that the accused not be granted bail. Heavily armed policemen were on hand to control the crowd.
This is the third case in three years in which the police have been implicated in what has been called the “January Murders” in Mpumalanga.
A police-issue firearm was used to kill the director for communication at the Mpumalanga’s department of sport, arts and culture, Sammy Mpatlanyane, on January 10, 2010 at his home in Mbombela. Two foreign nationals, Tanzanian Omary Issa, 29, and Mozambican national Nito Mashava, 28, were arrested at the first week of April for the murder of Mpatlanyane.
They were both denied bail and were remanded in custody until June 20 for a trial date.
Two policemen have also been arrested for the murder of the speaker of the Mbombela local municipality, Jimmy Mohlala, who was gunned down at his house on January 4, 2009.
One of the policemen, Constable Dumisani Mhlanga, 33, died last week Thursday at Barberton Hospital. Weekend newspapers reported that his death was stress-related.
On Thursday (May 26), the remaining four suspects, Constable Musa Mkhabela, 30, of the KaNyamazane police, Sakhile Mabika-Mona, 30, his mother Jenny Mabika, 56, who is a cleaner at Rob Ferreira Hospital and an unemployed man Moses Mahungela, 33, are expected to appear in the KaBokweni magistrate’s court for the Mohlala murder case.
All the accused are currently out on bail of between R6 000 and R10 000 bail.
Mohlala’s widow, Bonny Mohlala, has previously told African Eye News Service that she suspects that the five accused in the murder of her husband have been framed to protect the real killers.
“I have a feeling that these people were framed to protect the real killers. I am also tired of this case, it has been dragging on for too long and the family need closure now,” she said.

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