Just moments after being released on parole‚ a convicted hitman with strong links to the ANC and KwaZulu-Natal correctional services bosses was escorted to the beach for a cleansing ritual by prison guards‚ before being driven to a brand-new home in Pietermaritzburg.
Controversial inmate Russell Ngubo - who continuously received preferential treatment from prison guards‚ and was accused of assaulting warders at least twice - was released from the Durban Westville Prison on Monday‚ after serving 12 years behind bars for two murders committed in 1995.
Ngubo‚ former ANC branch chairperson and erstwhile New Prison deputy director‚ was convicted in 2005 for the murders of IFP leader Nash Ngubane‚ in Impendle‚ in 1995‚ and IFP supporter Amon Mshengu in the same year.
But before he was officially released‚ Ngubo demanded to be taken to the ocean to cleanse himself of bad luck associated with a stay in jail. The man‚ nicknamed Blanket‚ reportedly shares a close relationship with KZN prisons boss Mnikelwa Nxele. Their relationship dates back to a dark‚ violent period in the KZN town of Richmond in the early 1990s.
“He was accompanied by members of the EST [Emergency Support Team] on Monday around 9am to dip in the sea. He was then driven back to the office to finalise paperwork before being driven to his newly-built Pietermaritzburg house. This is where his eldest wife was already waiting for him. However‚ he asked…for permission to spend the night at his traditional home in Impendle to do rituals‚” a prison warder told TimesLIVE.
Two other sources verified the information. None of the officials would go on the record over fears that they would lose their jobs.
The Sunday Times confirmed via the Mkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association that the house was built by the organisation‚ using unspecified donations‚ on land given over by the Msundusi Municipality.
Ngubo's wife‚ who identified herself as MaZuma‚ and who was at the new home in Pelham‚ confirmed that he had gone to Impendle. She would not give reporters her husband's contact number. She confirmed‚ however‚ that the house was only completed in October.
The Sunday Times reported this weekend that the convicted hitman was planned to be part of the ANC KZN's security detail for the party's national elective conference - only to be scuppered by parole conditions that do not allow him to leave the Pietermaritzburg magisterial district.