The two witnesses withdraw their statement against the former MEC of agriculture, Mandla Msibi, and his co-accused Njabulo Shugulugu Mkhoto, Buddah Msluli, Anele Mnisi, Tsepo Matsane, and Charlie Ngwenya are facing murder charges and attempted murder.
The suspects are accused of killing Sindela Lubisi and Dingaam Mgwenya, alongside facing charges of attempting to murder Sfiso Mpila in August 2021. The incident is said to have taken place in Nelspruit.
The two witnesses who withdrew their statement state that they were paid core host by a regional ANC leader to pin Mandla Msibi.
The National Prosecuting Authority says it knows nothing about reports claiming that witnesses who had earlier implicated former Mpumalanga MEC Mandla Msibi in a murder had withdrawn their statements. | @ZintleMahlati https://t.co/5GGiu6Ifpa
— News24 (@News24) April 22, 2022
The accused pleaded not guilty in court and are currently out on bail of R20 000 each.
The suspect’s defense lawyer, Coert Jordaan, told the court that he has seen the letter from the witnesses intending to withdraw their statement that implicates Msibi and his co-accused to the charges.
Leana Jones asked the court for an adjournment to consult with the director of public prosecution. She wanted a postponement in the finalization of the indictment.
The defense lawyer was not happy with Jones’s request and aimed to oppose a postponement.
“I submit that an excuse is being used to secure a postponement. I am not going to agree to prolong this matter. The state must have their house in order,” Jones said.
Even though Jordaan wanted the court not to grant the extension, Suzanne Monaledi did grant the defense’s request.
The spokesperson of the Mpumalanga NPA, Monica Nyuswa, stated that the witness statement withdrawal is inconsequential.
”We have a strong case against the accused that they are going to answer during the trial in the high court,” Nyuswa said.
The co-accused are expected to appear in court on the 1st of March 2022.