Suspects linked to the murders of two MKP members allegedly assaulted on their way to court

Four suspects in the MKP double murders were reportedly assaulted en route to court. Picture: File

Four suspects in the MKP double murders were reportedly assaulted en route to court. Picture: File

Published Jun 18, 2024


Four suspects arrested in connection with the double murders of two uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) members Bongani Mkhwanazi and Xolani Nzimande were allegedly assaulted on their way to court on Tuesday.

This was revealed by the accused’s lawyer, Peter Zwane, during his court bail application for his clients at Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court.

Zwane urged the court to organise separate transport for his clients, citing that their lives might be in danger following the alleged attack that occurred during their transport from the Boksburg correctional facility.

“It’s not like we are asking for the suspects to be taken to a four-star hotel; however, my clients fear for their lives following the assault incident. We believe this should be prevented before something bad can happen,” Zwane said.

The court asked the investigating officer if he could organise separate transport for the suspects to be taken back and also collected from the Boksburg correctional facility on Wednesday when court proceeds with the bail hearing.

“I am alone today with no other officers on duty and it won’t be possible to transport the four accused in separate transport from other inmates who are also attending court,” said the officer, who asked not to be named for safety reasons.

Magistrate Shakira Timol asked for a short adjournment as she went to get advice from her colleagues and later came back.

“The application for the separate transport came to my attention in the 11th hour and it is not possible to be organised as per the lawyer’s request,” she said.

Timol said the case will proceed on Wednesday.

Mkhwanazi and Nzimande were shot and killed on May 26 in Katlehong.

Mkhwanazi and Nzimande were shot and killed on May 26 in Katlehong. Pic: Ntombi Nkosi

The matter is scheduled five against all four suspects. After the media made an application, they were requested not to take photos or videos or mention their company names for safety.

All four suspects are facing two counts of murder, common assault, assault with GBH and discharging a firearm.

Reading the affidavits, Zwane read that accused number 1 said he has no conviction, no warrant of arrests and he is not a flight risk. Accused number 2 said he was previously convicted for common assault but has no pending cases, and has no passport, meaning he does not intend to flee. Accused number 3 has been convicted of possession of dagga, however is not violent and has no intention to flee.

Accused number 4 said he has no pending case. However, he has been convicted for robbery and sent to jail and came out on parole. He too said he will not flee.

All the suspects are members of a crime-fighting unit (known to “The Star”).

According to the statement by the investigating officer, the two victims were walking with another guy and three friends. As they wanted to cross the road, a Quantum looked like it would not stop at the stop sign. He said immediately when the taxi passed, one of the victims banged it on the back and shouted, “This is a stop sign!”

“The deceased and the taxi driver started fighting, and members of the crime-fighting unit approached the scene. Accused 1 is linked by witnesses as the person who shot and killed the two deceased.

“Accused 2 according to a witness fired a shot in the air and assaulted. Accused 3 is linked by witnesses as assaulting the deceased.

“Accused 4 is linked by witnesses as a person who unleashed one beer bottle on the forehead of one of the deceased. The late MKP members were found with bullet wounds. One died on the scene, the other on the way to the hospital,” said the investigating officer.

Speaking outside court, Bongani’s aunt, Buyisiwe Mkhwanazi, said the family were disappointed that the media were not allowed to take pictures of the suspects.

“There are viral videos all over social media showing Nzimande and Mkhwanazi lying on the ground covered in blood after being shot by the suspects. Why are the suspects protected from being seen by the public whereas when they shot our children they did it in broad daylight?” said Mkhwanazi.

The distraught aunt said the family and Bongani’s 2-year-old son, Nkosana, were not coping after the tragic incident.

“The son always ask when will his father come back and we can’t give him answers, it is difficult to explain to him what has happened to him. Sadly the son will grow up without the father, who was killed like a dog together with his friend,” she said.

She also raised concerns that Bongani used to babysit his child, and since being killed they have had to rely on relatives to mind him, which disturbs his schedule because he now arrives home around 8pm.

MKP members came in numbers to support the families. They chanted Struggle songs and held placards stating “justice” and “no bail”.

The case continues on Wednesday.