Third suspect arrested in Mkhondo councillor murder

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Mpumalanga Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Manamela, has welcomed the arrest of a third suspect in connection with the murder of a councillor in Mkhondo last week.

In a statement, provincial SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said the team assembled to investigate the killing arrested a 40-year-old suspect on Monday.

The suspect, who is from uMbumbulu in KwaZulu-Natal, was taken in for questioning and ultimately charged with murder. He will today appear before the Piet Retief Magistrate's Court.

Councillor Sbonelo (Mthembu) Ntshangase (36), Sandile Khumalo (51) and Sizwe Mbingo (40) were gunned down in a shooting at the Longhomes Township in Piet Retief on Friday, 13 January 2023 at around 8pm.

“It is further alleged that suspects fired multiple shots at Mr Ntshangase who was in the yard, and also shot Mr Mbingo inside a bakkie who sadly died at the scene whilst Mr Khumalo was shot in the yard as well. Thereafter the suspects fled to unknown direction.

“The police in Piet Retief as well as the paramedics were informed about the incident whilst Mr Ntshangase and Mr Khumalo were privately taken to a nearby hospital. Mr Khumalo was unfortunately certified dead on arrival meanwhile Mr Ntshangase regrettably succumbed to his injuries moments later.”

A case of three counts of murder was opened and a dedicated team of experts in the field of investigation was immediately assembled by Lieutenant General Manamela.

On Tuesday police had reported that two male suspects had been arrested and an automatic rifle with ammunition were confiscated. They have been charged with possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

The Provincial Commissioner urged members of the public, including families and colleagues of the victims, to remain calm and allow police the space to investigate and bring all perpetrators to book while allowing due processes of the law to take their course.

"We have always stayed true and committed to our call of duty, that of preventing crime, and when crime has been committed we are obligated in terms of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, to investigate and bring perpetrators thereof to book.

“We still need support from members of the public regarding further details which may assist in the investigation to come forth. We promise to treat such information with much delicacy," she said. –