Cele says the police must be applauded for the conviction of KZN hitman behind 2016 murder of ANC councillor

Police Minister Bheki Cele has said that “it doesn’t matter” that it took almost five years for Fisokuhle Ntuli to be convicted for the 2016 murder of African National Congress (ANC) councillor in kwaNongoma, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), Thami Goodwill Nyembe, but rather that what is important is that the South African Police Service (SAPS) should be applauded for their work which resulted in a successful prosecution.

“It doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter, the crux of the matter is that that is one of the notorious hitmen that the police have managed to arrest,” Cele said on Wednesday during a visit to the KZN home of slain Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) councillor candidate Thulani Shangase.

On Monday, Ntuli was convicted for the murders of Nyembe, Butiza Sandisa Mahlobo, Sphamandla Zungu and brothers  Phiwayinkosi Zulu, Mcebisi Zulu and Sibusiso Zulu. He is due to be sentenced on 9 December.

Ntuli is also expected to appear in court on 25 October 2021 along with four other men in connection with the 2014 murder of Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa.

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Cele said though he is not shifting the blame “to other segments of the law”, it is important to ask why Ntuli had been released on bail after he was arrested on numerous occasions, including for Nyembe’s murder.

The minister said Ntuli is linked to 10 murders in KZN and 14 in Gauteng, including Meyiwa’s killing.

Since the establishment of the KZN SAPS Political Task Team, 284 arrests have been made, Cele said, adding: “most of them izinkabi [hitmen]”, which includes Ntuli.

The task team’s work has resulted in the sentencing to life of nine convicts and 22 others are serving jail terms between 10 and 50 years, Cele added.

“Working closely with the prosecution, we have managed to keep, I think, about 69 or 63 of them in custody, which was something which was not very normal, people were getting bail everytime,” Cele said.

On Wednesday, Cele visited Shangase’s family, which he assured the police will leave no stone unturned in their investigations to track those behind the EFF councillor candidate’s 17 October 2021 fatal shooting.

Shangase was fatally shot on Sunday at approximately 5pm in the Herwood area of Plessilaer in Pietermaritzburg, KZN.

The minister also visited the scene of the crime seen below:

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