Security guard accused of murdering fisherman abandons bail bid

04 April 2018 - 14:41 By Jeff Wicks
Community members protest outside the Eshowe Magistrate Court.
Community members protest outside the Eshowe Magistrate Court.
Image: THULI DLAMINI

Security guard Andiswa Magwaza – accused of the murder of fisherman Siphamandla Xulu - abandoned his bid for bail when he appeared before the Eshowe Magistrate’s court on Wednesday.

Magwaza‚ 21‚ is alleged to have shot and killed Xulu while he and several friends had been gathering worms for bait on the Corby Hill farm.

The farm lies between the town of Eshowe and the township of Seventeen in Umlalazi‚ and a dam on the property was regularly used for fishing.

Xulu’s death sparked a wave of violent civil unrest‚ with mobs of people putting the torch to cane plantations‚ farm houses and agricultural land with damage rising to tens of millions of rand two weeks ago.

The 30-year-old fisherman had‚ his father insisted‚ been shot while running away from a security patrol‚ contracted to watch over thousands of hectares of lush sugarcane.

Magwaza‚ in relinquishing his bid for freedom while awaiting trial‚ would be housed in the Empangeni Prison ahead of his next appearance in May.

A group of protesters‚ all from the ward in which Xulu used to live‚ gathered outside the courtroom and celebrated that the guard would not be released.

This was in stark contrast to a raging community in the days after the shooting when they called for him to be handed over to them so that he could be dealt with outside a courtroom. Craig Hambury-King‚ chair of the eShowe-Entumeni Farmers’ Association‚ said that tensions in the region had all but settled.

“We have had a meeting with the Amakhosi and we are having another meeting in the near future so we can get to the root of grievances that people may have‚” he said.

“I wouldn’t say things are tense‚ people are aware of the situation but there is no friction‚” he added.

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