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Widow of slain Chief Clyde Mnisi shot and killed in apparent hit

The chief's adult son and another adult man were also shot and wounded in the same incident.

In yet another suspected assassination, the widow of Chief Clyde Mnisi, Charlene (30), was shot and killed in her sleep.

She was still in the process of mourning his death.

The incident occurred in their home in Mkhuhlu at about 01:00 on Tuesday, two days after she had laid him to rest on Sunday.

Brigadier Selvy Mohlala, a Mpumalanga police spokesperson, said she was shot in her bedroom. Two other male relatives were shot and wounded in another bedroom.

ALSO READ: Chief Clyde Mnisi gunned down near White River

A family member confirmed she had been shot in the head twice, and that one of the other victims was the chief’s son. The relationship of the other wounded victim is as yet unknown.

“She was declared dead on the scene, while the two men have been rushed to hospital,” Mohlala said. “The police are investigating a murder case and two cases of attempted murder.”

Mnisi (37), who had been accused of being a kingpin in a massive rhino poaching syndicate, was gunned down in an apparent hit on March 26.

According to Mohlala, Mnisi had been travelling as a passenger in a Toyota Avanza on the KMI Airport road when one of the vehicle’s tyres was punctured. The driver stopped on the roadside and was waiting for assistance to have the tyre changed, when a group of about five heavily armed men wearing balaclavas and gloves drove up to the Avanza in a BMW X5.

Mohlala said the men climbed out of the BMW carrying high-calibre rifles, and went straight to the passenger’s side where Mnisi was sitting. He said they spoke to him and opened fire.

ALSO READ: Suspected rhino poaching kingpin killed near White River

He was hit several times and died on the scene. The Mpumalanga police are still investigating the motive for his murder and are searching for his killers. A case of murder, with an additional charge of attempted murder for the driver who was also shot, was opened and is under investigation. Mohlala confirmed that the driver was shot in the leg and is recovering well.

Mnisi, who was inaugurated as a senior traditional leader of the Mnisi Traditional Council in October 2022, is the third person to be killed who was involved in the Mpumalanga High Court case coming up later this month, regarding rhino poaching-related charges.

Mnisi was set to appear in court on April 17 facing charges of rhino poaching and money laundering.

His death follows that of another suspected rhino poaching kingpin, Petros Sidney Mabuza, known to many as ‘Mshengu’, who was shot multiple times in broad daylight opposite a petrol station in Hazyview on June 17, 2021.

Mnisi and Mabuza had originally been arrested and charged along with four other suspects, Claude Lubisi, Joseph Nyalunga, Aretha Mhlanga and Rachel Qwebana, in September 2018.

ALSO READ: Cogta MEC shocked by assassination of Chief Clyde Mnisi

The Mpumalanga Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation’s (Hawks) spokesperson, Captain Dineo Sekgotodi, told Lowvelder the case had initially been investigated by the late Lieutenant Colonel Leroy Bruwer of the Hawks, who was shot and killed on his way to work on March 17, 2020.

According to the Mpumalanga National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) spokesperson, Monica Nyuswa, the upcoming trial against the four remaining co-accused will still take place between April 17 and May 19.

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