THREE ACCUSED OF KILLING SAMWU MEMBERS APPEAR IN COURT

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Simon Radzuma, Percy Radzuma and Thabo Sibanze.
Simon Radzuma, Percy Radzuma and Thabo Sibanze.

The Thohoyandou magistrate court was filled to capacity on Friday, 30 April with relatives of the two slain South African Municipal Union (SAMWU), officials, Ronald Mani (50) and former union’s acting National President, Timpson Musetsho (50).  

The two  brothers, Simon Radzuma (26) and Percy Radzuma (33) and another accused were charged with the murder and other charges which include being positively linked  with murder and robbery at FNB Thohoyandou in 2018, two counts of murder at Mandala village in 2019, robbery and attempted murder at Game Store in Thohoyandou, house robbery  at Muledane location , robbery  at Sibas, robbery and kidnapping  at Mukula village, just outside Thohoyandou, theft of motor vehicle at Makwarela, robbery and kidnaping at Tshilivhani, murder in Phiphidi plantation, intimidation at Sibasa Aardvark Shop, robbery and attempted murder in Giyani, 2x possession of illegal fire arms and ammunition at Rwanda village in Letsitele, Tzaneen.   

They were joined by their co-accused, Thabo Sibanze who was arrested in 2019, first for intimidating some SAMWU members over his phone and  was also charged with the murder of Ronald Mani .

The ANC Provincial Secretary in Limpopo, Soviet Lekganyane told the gathering outside the court that he thanked the people for coming to court in large numbers in support of the families of the two slain SAMWU members. “We are happy that the hit men had been arrested.

“We want all  the people behind the killings of our comrades to be in court, but we suspected that the killings of our comrades was politically motivated, and want the big fish (those who hired them) to also be arrested,” said Lekganyane. He said they will support the families until  the end of the case. 

Representing the two families of the slain, Lucky said although they were heartbroken about the incident, they felt comfort and hope justice will take its course by making sure that those found guilt serve hefty sentences.

“We are happy with the support we are getting since the death of our beloved family members. Now, there is light in the case and we hope they will face the might of the law,” Mani said outside the court.

The two union members were vocal against municipal authorities in the Vhembe district municipality having invested R300 millions of public funds in the now liquidated mutual bank, VBS.

The  three  accused were remanded in custody and their cases were postponed to 28 May. During their appearance, State Advocate Mashudu Nekhumbe stated that their cases are being postponed to allow the state to centralize all their cases so that they can be heard in one court.

Limpopo police spokesperson, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said the two accused were initially arrested in Rwanda village in Letsitele policing area outside Tzaneen for possession of firearms and ammunition on Friday, 19 March.

According to Mojapelo, the team that was following the suspects' tracks took control of their custody and commenced the process of linking them to the other crimes under investigation.

Brigadier Mojapelo further said 50 year old, Timpson Musetsho was shot while parking his motor vehicle in his garage. He later succumbed to injuries and died few days after in hospital. Six days later Ronald Mani also (50) at that time was also shot dead at Singo Bottle Store in Itsani village on the 30th of January 2019.

The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Services (SAPS) in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba and the members of his management team are elated by the ultimate arrest and subsequently charging of the suspects allegedly involved in the killings of the SAMWU members in Thohoyandou during January 2019.

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