Brothers not guilty of July 2021 unrest murder

The brothers were charged with the murder of Mondli Majola (19) who was shot in the head and in his right thigh.

Brothers Dylan and Ned Govender have been found not guilty of the murder of 19-year-old Mondli Majola who died during the July 2021 unrest in Phoenix, Durban.

However, the brothers were found guilty of assault with intent to cause Majola grievous bodily harm. The evidence showed that Dylan hit him with the butt of his knife and Ned hit him with a pick handle.

The court also found them both guilty of assaulting Mxolisi Phuthuzo, and guilty of the attempted murder of Nkululeko Mangwe.

They were acquitted on charges relating to a fourth complainant, Qaphelani Mkhovu, as the state did not have sufficient evidence.

The brothers appeared in the Durban High Court yesterday and judge Gregory Kruger found that the state could not prove they committed the murder beyond reasonable doubt.

According to the state, the accused had accosted Majola and three others while they were walking to the Cornubia Mall via Desert Palm Road in Phoenix.

It is alleged that the four men ran to a nearby house where they sought refuge, but Majola tripped and fell.

CCTV footage from a home close to where the incident took place showed Majola being chased by a group of people before slipping and falling.

He was then attacked by a mob allegedly led by the brothers.

A pathologist, who testified during the trial, said Majola had been shot in the head and in his right thigh.

The third accused in this matter, Jeetendra Jaikissoon, died in police custody in October 2021.

Department of Correctional Services spokesperson Sibangakho Nxumalo said at the time that Jaikissoon was transferred from the Durban management area to King Edward VIII Hospital after complaining that he was having difficulty in breathing, and of chest pains.

Kruger said that it was clear that the intention of the group which included the Govender brothers was to prevent black individuals, who they believed were looters, from entering the area.

The brothers will remain out on bail R15 000 bail until sentencing on July 5.

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