7 suspects in court for Nyathi murder
Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
SEVEN suspects who are part of the 14 people accused of violently killing a 43-year-old Zimbabwean in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg in South Africa, appeared in court yesterday charged with murder.
The gang is alleged to be part of a vigilante group that killed Elvis Nyathi, who was granted a State-assisted funeral by President Mnangagwa and was buried in Bulawayo on Saturday.
A vigilante group is pushing for the expulsion of all black African foreigners living and working in South Africa, especially Zimbabweans, claiming they were behind a spate of crimes in that country.
Gauteng National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson, Ms Phindi Mjonondwane, said they had since received a docket concerning the murder case.
Seven gang members were remanded in custody until Friday, while detectives are completing initial documentation for the rest of the group.
“We received the docket relating to the suspects in the Elvis Nyathi murder case. The suspects will be tried at the Randburg Court. The prosecutor is busy going through the docket,” she said.
It is alleged that Nyathi was killed after failing to pay a bribe of R300 to the vigilante group that was going door-to-door forcing foreigners in the area to present documents permitting them to be in South Africa legally.
While visiting Diepsloot recently, South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and Police Minister Bheki Cele, said they were carrying out a three-month operation to restore sanity in the area.
According to community leaders in Diepsloot, Operation Dudula leader, Nhlanhla “Lux” Dlamini, was trying to hijack their protest, which they said was against high crime rates in the area.
But Dr Motsoaledi said he had heard their concerns, but appealed to the community to stop taking the law into their own hands.
“So, we are starting a three months’ operation to restore sanity in this area and we have since deployed 25 immigration officials here to work with the police in managing immigration-related matters.
“We are going to review progress after three months and from then, we will have three permanent immigration officers in Diepsloot to work with the police in that regard,” he said.
Dr Motsoaledi also pleaded with journalists to avoid pushing narratives that create unnecessary volatility in communities.
Minister Cele weighed in saying: “Like what the Home Affairs Minister has said, let’s allow the authorities to deal with crime and avoid taking the law into our own hands.
“We have increased police details here for crime prevention-related activities. The progress for this operation will be reviewed after three months.”
Speaking on a South African 24-hour news channel, NewzRoom Afrika last night, Dlamini threatened to unleash more violence against African foreigners going forward.