Councillor and eight others in court for setting alight house, fire engine

African News Agency

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Fire-engine-torched-by-rampaging-residents-in-Ekurhuleni
Fire engine torched by rampaging residents in Ekurhuleni. Photo ANA.

Eight suspects, three charged with murder and five including a Ward Councillor charged with malicious damage to property and robbery, appeared before the Barberton Magistrate’s Court on Monday, Mpumalanga police said.

Spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said ward councillor Mandla Mamba, Sihle Nkambule, 24, Sabelo Mlotshwa, 20, Themba Mwali, 33, and Gift Mnisi, 25, were remanded in custody until Friday, for further investigation.

Benedict Mhlanga, 28, Sipho Mbowane, 31, and Boikie Malambe Mokoena, 30), arrested for murder, were remanded in custody until September 12, for formal bail application.

He said the three arrested on murder charges were arrested in connection with the murder of a 30-year-old man who was killed on Saturday September 3, at around 6am in Barberton.

“Police received a report about a man who was assaulted by three men and when they arrived at the scene, they found him in a critical condition,” said Hlathi

He was rushed to hospital where he died due to his injuries shortly after his arrival.

Shortly after the murder incident, two houses belonging to two of the suspects were set alight by a group of people who are believed to be friends of the victim, he said.

The Fire and Rescue Team extinguished the fire but in the process they were attacked by the group who chased them away.

One fire fighter was robbed of his firearm and the group proceeded to set alight the fire trucks.

“First to be arrested was the five suspects including the councillor on Saturday, at about 8.30pm, of which the fifth suspect was brought to book today [Monday]. All five were charged with robbery and malicious damaged to property. The trio for the murder were nabbed during the early hours of Sunday at about 2.30am,” he said.

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