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SUSPECTED HIT MAN IN BUSINESSMAN JOMO MURDER IDENTIFIED

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MBABANE - The Royal Eswatini Police Service has identified the alleged South African hit man who was reportedly hired to end the life of Manzini businessman Jomo Khumalo.


His name is Xolani Nkosi and he is now a fugitive of the law in the neighbouring country so that he could be extradited to the Kingdom of Eswatini.
A video footage obtained by the police from Oshoek Border Gate showed the alleged hit man entering Eswatini on November 11, 2019. Nkosi was allegedly hired to end Khumalo’s life by Maxwell Nkambule and Senzo Sithole, who are both currently incarcerated. According to the police, Nkosi paid a bribe of E150 to someone who connected him to Customs officials at the Oshoek Border Gate to help him illegally enter the kingdom. Khumalo was gunned down in what could be termed as a broad daylight public assassination near the Manzini Traffic Circle last year.


Disclosed


The identity of the alleged hit man was disclosed in an affidavit by the principal investigator of the case, Constable Mthandi Mhlungu.  Giving a background of the matter, Mhlungu informed the court that there was bad blood between the deceased (Khumalo) and Nkambule.

The conflict, according to the investigator, started as a result of transport business-related issues since they both owned kombis that service hawkers between Eswatini and the Republic of South Africa. 

He alleged that due to this conflict, a motor vehicle belonging to Nkambule was burnt by unknown people at his homestead and he (Nkambule) suspected that the people were sent by Khumalo. “Based on these suspicions, Nkambule went to the Republic of South Africa to look for a hit man to kill Khumalo.  He was successful as he was able to get the services of one Xolani Nkosi,” submitted the investigator.
  These are allegations whose veracity is yet to be tested in court.


Detective Mhlungu narrated that on November 11, 2019, the alleged hit man entered the Kingdom of Eswatini, allegedly in the company of Nkambule.
He told the court that according to a witness, Nkambule approached someone at Oshoek Border Gate and requested him (witness) to assisted in facilitating the illegal crossing of the alleged hit man into the country. 

The witness is said to have referred Nkambule to another person who assisted him.
“May I state that some of the witnesses were able to identify the motor vehicle that was used to transport the hit man, Nkambule and Sithole to the Oshoek Border Gate, being a navy blue VW Polo and was driven by Sithole,” submitted the law enforcer.


He averred that one of the witnesses became suspicious about Nkambule’s action of smuggling the alleged hit man into Eswatini. Mhlungu said since the witness was aware that Khumalo and Nkambule were at loggerheads, he (witness) called him (Khumalo) and alerted him about the move. Khumalo is said to have then called one of the police officers at the Ngwenya Border Gate to find out whether Nkambule had crossed to Eswatini.

The police officer is reported to have made some enquiries from one of the witnesses who allegedly saw Nkambule smuggling the alleged hit man.
“The witnesses who assisted Nkambule to smuggle the hit man was paid E150. 

The evidence of the witness to the effect that Nkambule and Sithole were at Oshoek in the early hours of November 11, 2019 is supported by MTN records which show that at 08:24:51,  Nkambule’s mobile phone number 7805 0118 was using Oshoek MTN Site and he moved from Oshoek to Matsapha (sic),” submitted  the investigator.

He submitted that the records further showed that Nkambule was at his homestead at Mbikwakhe at around 6pm which time tallies with the time on the video footage when Sithole and the alleged hit man were seen leaving Nkambule’s homestead. Mhlungu highlighted that in the video footage recorded on November 26, 2019, the alleged hit man was seen at the homestead of Nkambule at Mbikwakhe in Matsapha.

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