2007-05-09 : Mayor hires criminals


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2007-05-09 : Mayor hires criminals

Postby GOSA » Fri, 2007-05-11 12:20


Mayor hires criminals
•Wed, 9 May 2007

By Nathi Olifant

Two convicted for roles in Nkabinde assassination guarding Bongi Sithole

TWO men convicted for their roles in the Sifiso Nkabinde assassination, which rocked the country and made international headlines in January 1999, are now VIP bodyguards of uMgungundlovu District Municipality Mayor Bongi Sithole.

In a startling revelation, Anil Jelal (35) and Danny Thulani Mbanjwa, who is out on parole, are now commanding the mayor’s VIP protection unit and are on the council’s payroll. The Witness has been told by a high-ranking official that the appointment of Jelal and Mbanjwa was a policy decision taken by the council as politicians choose who guards them.

Jelal is a former policeman who was with the SAPS VIP Protection Unit. At the time of his arrest and subsequent conviction, Jelal was Richmond mayor Andrew Ragavaloo’s bodyguard and was a member of the SAPS VIP protection unit.

Convicted and sentenced

Jelal, from Richmond, was convicted of being an accessory after the fact to murder and unlawful possession of a machine gun.

He was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment in October 2000.

A Witness investigation has also established that despite Jelal’s status as a security officer having been withdrawn due to the conviction, he is now working as a bodyguard and carries a firearm — which violates his parole conditions.

This is also the case with Mbanjwa, who was also arrested with Nkabinde accomplices. Mbanjwa, who hails from kwaMagoda in Richmond, initially turned state witness at the time of his arrest, but was later charged with murder.

According to a court indictment, the assassination was a culmination of a conspiracy concocted by Joel Mkhize, Mbanjwa, the late Bongani Magoso, and Bruce Mhlongo, who avoided jail by turning state witness.

Prior to his appointment as the mayor’s bodyguard, Mbanjwa volunteered at the Richmond Disaster Management unit.

According to a highly-placed source, he was moved to uMgungundlovu District Municipality for fear that, had he been employed permanently, there would have been discontent among Richmond residents, owing to his history.

Jelal’s registration with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (Psira) has been withdrawn. He was also a designated instructor and had an E Instructor Grade. This information was obtained through Public Information Registration Inquiries.

The primary objects of Psira are to regulate the private security industry and to exercise effective control over the practice of the occupation of security service providers in the public and national interest, and in the interest of the private security industry.

Convicts ‘may not carry guns’

While an ANC official argued that Jelal and Mbanjwa’s matter was more of a political issue than a criminal one, gun expert Louw Geldenhuys of the KZN Midlands Training Academy in Howick said that a person applying to carry out duties that involves using a firearm must be registered with Psira.

Violence Monitor Mary de Haas, who also sits on the Psira advisory board, said a person with a conviction record involving murder can never work in an environment where they would carry a firearm.

“This cannot happen. A person should undergo a screening exercise that determines their status and in this case, no institution can employ them,” she said.

Contacted yesterday about the issue, Sithole said that she had no comment at this stage.
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