Byline: Andani Matumba

30 May 2022

Mr Elias Mhlanga appeared for bail application at Evander Magistrate Court on Thursday, 19 May 2022. 

Mhlanga together with Mr Vuyisile Buthelezi and Mr Thabo Moshoadiba were arrested for the murder of Mr Fanie Khumalo from Kinross. 

Khumalo was gunned down in his home on 20 November 2021 while preparing for his minibuses to go out and work. 

Moshoadiba has since turned into a state witness.  

During the bail application on Thursday, 19 May 2022, Mhlanga’s new legal representative, Advocate Sandile Emmanuel Zwane requested to table new evidence.

While tabling new evidence, he also blamed the previous attorney who was instructed to represent Mhlanga in this matter. 

According to Mhlanga the previous attorney represented him knowing very well of his conflict of interest in the matter since the law firm he worked for is said to be associated to the Vukta Association. 

Advocate Zwane said his client should not be held liable for the incompetence of his previous legal representative, also adding that his client intends to lodge a complain to the legal practice council. 

It was put on record and confirmed to be true by both the state prosecutor and the magistrate that the previous attorney representing Mhlanga said it on record that he is withdrawing himself on the matter due to conflict of interest, even though he did not elaborate further. 

With Mhlanga instruction, Advocate Zwane said the previous attorney did not even bother to inform his client of his withdrawal, but his client only heard it for the first time when he inform the court. 

During his presentation on new facts, Advocate Zwane said the Investigating Officer of the case did mention that there is a syndicate of people involved in the killing of Mr Khumalo, of which in the syndicate there are taxi owners.

“It is clear that there is no syndicate as mentioned by the investigation officer but a taxi owner who is my client and his co-accused who is referred to as hitman and a state witness,” said Advocate Zwane arguing that the investigation officer misled the court. 

He also stated that according to the information received from his client’s family, some of the so-called witnesses and co-accused have since died. 

“It raises a red flag why they were not arrested if the Investigation Officer knew them and has all the information before him,” Advocate Zwane added.

The state also argued that there were no new facts presented since all the information was already known by the court. 

Magistrate Adri Roos postponed the case for court judgement on new evidence led to Thursday,  2 June 2022 meanwhile Mr Mhlanga remains in custody.