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Sam Chabalala allegedly paid hitman to kill his manager, court hears

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The hitman who killed Sam Holdings general manager Nkosinathi Ngcongo has admitted to the murder and implicated Sam Chabalala as the one who hired him to assassinate him.

Phindokuhle Nkosi, who was charged Ngcongo’s murder, made a confession through a statement that was read by his lawyer in the High Court sitting in Delmas today.

Nkosi, who pleaded guilty, told the court that on 12 September last year, he facilitated the killing of Ngcongo.

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He said during the time of the incident he was employed by a company which was contracted by Sam Holdings to provide security services.

He said he received a message that Chabalala was arrested by the Hawks and later learnt that he was admitted in hospital and visited him the next day.

“He requested me to go look for a hitman who can kill Nkosinathi Ngcongo as he was the one that caused him to be arrested by the Hawks. He indicated that he would pay any price demanded by him,” he said.

Nkosi said he called a guy known as Khumalo who arrived on the same afternoon to carry the job out.

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He said he showed him Ngcongo, who was at the Sam Holdings premises with Chabalala’s brother.

Nkosi claims that he later heard gunshots as he was sitting in the car and Khumalo came back running.

He told the court that they left the crime scene and he took him to the taxi rank.

“On that evening I received a phone call from my manager saying he heard about what had happened. He came to my place of residence and arranged that I surrender myself to the police. I agreed that I was the one who facilitated that Khumalo would come and kill Nathi,” he said.

Nkosi was arrested on the same day.

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The Hawks have since launched a manhunt for Chabalala and Mhlabuyaxega Khumalo.

Chabalala, who was initially arrested last year and subsequently charged for fraud, corruption and possession of an unlicensed firearm and contravening the immigration act, had been out on R200 000 bail following his arrest last September in Emalahleni.

The suspect paid R50 000 as a down payment and in February he added a further R70 000 for the release of his vehicle and the Nelspruit docket to disappear.

Chabalala attracted the public’s attention after flashing his 72 expensive cars in a convoy that was heading to the Durban July event in 2018.

He had claimed to be born in Venda, however when Home Affairs officials started to question him about his nationality, he changed his statement and said he was born in Bethal Hospital but the hospital did not have records of him being born there.

The accused’s ID, which is believed to be fraudulent, says the accused was born on 15 December 1995, however he was born on 1 January 1977.

During his bail application, the court has also revealed that preliminary investigations indicated that Chabalala’s real name is Gilbert Tachuona and he was born in Zimbabwe.

Magistrate Thandoluhle Mankge postponed the matter to tomorrow for mitigation of sentence and sentencing.

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