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.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories


Subscribers only

Q&A Sessions: ‘I should have fought harder for SA vaccine’...

Professor Salim Abdool Karim talks to Nicolene de Wee about his responsibility as head of the ministerial advisory committee tasked with guiding the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Do you have to take the Covid-19 vaccine or not?

The South African law does not make it mandatory for citizens to be vaccinated, and the same will apply for Covid-19 immunisation. But experts say people still have the responsibility not to act recklessly — and they should follow Covid-19 health protocols

More top stories

Zuma won’t appear before Zondo commission on Monday, say his...

Last year the commission asked the Constitutional Court to force the former president to appear. Although ruling has not been made, the summons remains valid, but Zuma’s lawyers say they won’t honour it

Molefe blames Ramaphosa for Eskom’s woes in statement to Zondo...

Brian Molefe guns for Cyril Ramaphosa, alleging that the president’s relationship with Glencore was only a ploy to siphon money out of Eskom

Death and anxiety rife at matric marking centres as schools...

Education department delays 2021 academic year as the Covid-19 death and infection rates rise rapidly, but assures 2020 matrics that results will be released on time

Zondo commission: Lynne Brown reportedly says ‘eish’ when told of...

More allegations against Jacob Zuma put before the state capture commission, as the questions the former president will have to answer when he appears next week continue to stack up

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…