Five people accused of killing African National Congress (ANC) member Prince Manzini during the party’s branch meeting in Gutshwa near White River in Mpumalanga appeared in Kabokweni Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
The suspects are charged with intimidation, assault and murder. They appeared before the magistrate from behind a police van, due to a confirmed COVID-19 case at the court.
ANC members wearing T-shirts bearing Prince Manzini’s face picketed outside court, calling for justice to prevail. They carried placards saying “enough is enough with thugs who are bought to disrupt ANC meetings and killing of innocent members.”
The five suspects were arrested last Friday and it is alleged that they are part of a group that disrupted an ANC branch meeting, which was held in Gutshwa in March.
Manzini was allegedly assaulted with chairs and other objects and he later died in hospital.
Manzini’s family spokesperson Jabu Mathumbu says: “We are so happy that finally the wheels of justice are turning, finally we are nearing closure, and will get closure so as a family I can say we are very happy.”
“We don’t have too much information other than that five perpetrators were apprehended by the police. That is the information we have, we haven’t met them, we would like to get justice, closure, we would like to see justice being done, justice being served,” adds Mathumbu.
The members of the ANC who turned up at court say they are supporting the Manzini family. They say Manzini was killed for raising the ANC’s constitutional issues.
In the video below, the murdered ANC member is laid to rest:
ANC enHlanzeni Regional task team member William Nkanta has described the murder as a disgrace.
“We need to have our own introspection, what we saw even today – the activities former members of the regional executive of the ANC eNhlanzeni region mobilising people to march against the arrest that has been made is unfortunate. We think comrade (Joel) Netshitenzhe has to release a consequential document that says the renewal of the ANC indeed is a must be a total renewal that members of the ANC must start afresh to join the ANC so that they can be screened to understand what kind of members that we have in the ANC.”
Nkata says ANC members should have a battle of ideas, instead of killing each other.
“We can’t lose our members in the ANC were we are supposed to contest in terms of battle of ideas, in terms of preference is enshrined in the constitution of the ANC is indeed we ashamed… people are mobilising people using money…” says Nkata.
The case has been postponed until Friday for a formal bail application.