Former Eastern Cape ANC chair questioned for murder

Eastern Cape police have taken the former ANC chairperson of an Eastern Cape region as well as the former deputy secretary for questioning following a murder attempt on the current chair.

Thandekile Sabisa, former ANC chairperson of the OR Tambo Region, and Lawrence Mambila, former deputy secretary, were both taken for questioning in Mthatha yesterday.

This was in connection with a murder attempt outside Tsolo last year on current ANC chairperson, Xolile Nkompela, during which his bodyguard, 39-year-old Zukile Nyontso, died in a hail of bullets in the suspected hit on December 17, 2015.

The attack took place near Bakhangele village outside Tsolo around 8pm. Nkompela had been under heavy guard after allegedly receiving death threats in November last year.

Nkompela, who is also Mhlontlo council speaker, escaped unhurt after the ambush. Nkompela spoke to the Saturday Dispatch a few days after the incident, and said they were leaving his brother’s house when the group came under attack.

“About 150m away from my brother’s house I saw a man jump in front of the car we were travelling in and opened fire. My driver asked one of the bodyguards to shoot at the attacker,” he said. “They told me to hide on the floor of the car. By this time the second gunman was shooting. I felt my driver’s blood dripping on me and I saw that he was severely injured.” 

Nkompela, who had been sitting in the back seat during the attack, said one of the gunmen walked to the front passenger side and tried to open the door. The bodyguard fired a shot, hitting the suspect in the shoulder. The gunmen fled the scene on foot and are believed to have jumped into a car waiting in the distance. The injured Nyontso was immediately removed from the car, but died at the scene, according to the Saturday Dispatch. 

Eastern Cape police spokesperson Mzukisi Fatyela confirmed that Sabisa and Mambila were taken in for questioning. 

The police are investigating a case of murder in relation to the death of the bodyguard.

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