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September 7, 2003

South African Broadcasting Corporation
September 4, 2003

The son of the leader of international music group Ladysmith Black Mambazo allegedly paid a hitman R8 000 to kill his stepmother.

This was the evidence led in murder trial of Nkosinathi Shabalala and Mboneni Mdunge in the Durban High Court yesterday .

An affidavit by a key state witness in the Nellie Shabalala trial claimed her stepson plotted to kill her because his own music group had been "overlooked" for an overseas tour. Shabalala was gunned down in the driveway of her Clermont home in May last year.

Shabalala is the son of Black Mambazo leader Joseph Shabalala. Shabalala Jun. and Mdunge also face a count of conspiracy to commit murder and two counts of attempted murder. Both men have pleaded not guilty.

Hadebe's affidavit was read into the court record by
investigating officer Mdumiso Ngcobo.

In his statement, Hadebe said he was a member of Shabalala's singing group, White Mambazo. He said he had been friends with Shabalala Jun. for 19 years. Hadebe said Shabalala had told him his father Joseph would help their group undertake an overseas tour.

But, according to the affidavit, the dead woman's own group, Women of Mambazo, had been given preference and had been sent overseas first.

Hadebe stated: "Nkosinathi suggested the deceased must be eliminated."

He also alleged: "Nkosinathi reported he had found someone who would eliminate his stepmother."

On the day of the murder, Shabalala Jun. had telephoned Hadebe and they had arranged to meet at a Clermont taxi rank. Hadebe's statement said he had met with Shabalala and had been told to take a hitman to the Shabalala home. After the shooting, he had picked up the hitman and had returned him to the taxi rank. Hadebe's statement claimed the gunman had demanded R8 000 for the murder.

Ngcobo told the court Hadebe had been shown a photograph of Mdunge and had identified him as the alleged hitman.

Posted by acapnews at September 7, 2003 11:56 AM

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