Alex Japho Matlala
2 minute read
28 Jul 2022
4:50 am

No bail for Limpopo ANC bigwig and co-accused up for murder

Alex Japho Matlala

Vaaltyn Kekana and Ralph Kanyane were shot and killed while having lunch in their car in Mokopane by gunmen who fled the scene.

A flag of the African National Congress (ANC). Picture: Michel Bega

A Limpopo ANC bigwig’s plea to be released on bail has been denied by the Mokopane Magistrate’s Court.

Jabulane Petros Mashamaite, former chair of Jomo Magopa branch, is accused of involvement in the gruesome murder of two ANC councillors in the Mogalakwena local municipality in 2019.

Vaaltyn Kekana and Ralph Kanyane were shot and killed while having lunch in their car in Mokopane by gunmen who fled the scene.

Mashamaite, current deputy manager of corporate services in Mogalakwena had, according to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), told the court he has a medical condition that is not conducive for incarceration. He also claimed he was the breadwinner of the family and that the two councillors were his “comrades”.

Mashamaite and James Mswazi Chuma, facing charges of conspiracy to commit murder and two counts of murder, were both denied bail. Co-accused Samuel Seruputlane Mokonyane and Nkholo Frans Mangadi abandoned their bail applications.

The NPA said Kekana, who was chair for the Mogalakwena municipal council, was about to table a report regarding irregular expenditure or maladministration at the beleaguered municipality.

“Mashamaite testified at the bail hearing that he is the breadwinner, has a permanent job, a businesses and that he has a medical condition that does not allow him to be incarcerated.

“He further told the court that the deceased were his comrades and he did not kill them,” said Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi, NPA spokesperson for Limpopo.

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Malabi-Dzhangi said Mashamaite concluded his application by asking the court to release him and promised to abide by the conditions of his bail application until the matter is finalised. However, the state opposed his bail, stating potential interference with state witnesses, as he knows them.

State advocate Calvin Chauke told the court Mashamaite would be able to get medical attention in custody. Chuma wanted to take care of his children and his businesses, but Chauke told the court he did not submit any proof to confirm that indeed his businesses would suffer due to his incarceration.

Malabi-Dzhangi said the court denied them bail because the two applicants failed to establish exceptional circumstances that, in the interest of justice, permits them to be eligible for bail.

The matter was postponed to 19 August.