Charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder against the Newcastle mayor Ntuthuko Mahlaba were dropped earlier today (Thursday, 15 August) at the Madadeni Magistrate’s Court. Mahlaba, who is also the regional chairperson, of the Emalahleni was facing charges related to the 2016 murder of the former ANCYL deputy chairperson Wandile Ngubeni which occurred.
At the time Mahalaba claimed that the charges were a plot to discredit him politically alleging that there was police involvement. He later lodged a complaint with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID)
Jubilation and excitement were felt outside the court as Mahlaba’s supporters waited in anticipation for him to address the gathering.
Inside court the prosecutor said that there was no reason to prosecute Mahlaba after five of the six state witnesses refused to testify against him. The witnesses told the court that they had been forced by police to testify against him.
Mahlaba also appeared at the Vryheid Magistrate’s Court yesterday (Wednesday, 14 August) where the assault charges against him were dropped due to insufficient evidence. Magistrate Albert Mdlalose said that the evidence against Mahlaba was weak.
Xolile Majola, the complainant was previously employed by Mahlaba as a herdsman and he was later fired after cattle belonging to Mahlaba went missing. Majola initially claimed that he was assaulted by four men, among them Mahlaba, and was threatened at knife point. He later changed his story in court, citing confusion due to the assault. He said that he had never been threatened with a knife.
Mahlaba, who was on suspension pending the outcome of the court’s decision, will likely return to office.