Two members of the Inkatha Freedom Party’s (IFP) top brass will be in court this week, facing two counts each of conspiracy to commit murder, Estcourt and Midlands News reports.
IFP councillor Mthembeni Majola, Endumeni (Dundee) Local Municipality Mayor Richard Mbatha and alleged hit man Xolani Makhathini were arrested at the end of May after an alleged plot to assassinate Endumeni council Speaker Bongiwe Mbatha and security tender recipient Mofat Mosia emerged.
The three men appeared in the Estcourt Magistrate’s Court on May 31 and June 1 for a formal bail application. It started as a seemingly strong case from State Prosecutor Zungu, who read out investigating officer Warrant Milton Mandla Ndlovu’s affidavit, which detailed alleged meetings, conversations and promises of lucrative tender payments if the assassin plot succeeded.
The court heard how the men, unbeknownst to them, were accompanied by an undercover agent to a planning meeting allegedly held in Dundee between Majola and Mbatha.
Further conversations between the pair, as well as the alleged hit man were detailed, and swift arrests followed. During the bail application, the defence teams for the accused argued the investigating officer’s affidavit was merely a ‘fairy tale’, substantiating that it was riddled with inconsistencies.
In a surprise move, the state prosecutor withdrew the intent to oppose bail on day two of the bail application hearing. Magistrate Sam Mpungose granted all three accused bail of R2 000 with conditions.