An ANC Youth League (ANCYL) regional leader in Mpumalanga has appeared in court in connection with the murder of a suspected robber.

Bheki Lubisi, 28, chairperson of the ANCYL in the Ehlanzeni region, was initially arrested along with four community members at Driekoppies village near Malalane on Tuesday. Two of the five men were released when they could not be linked to the case.

Lubisi and his two co-accused, Bheki Vikakazi, 29, and Sikhumbuzo Vilakazi, 35, all from Driekoppies village, are accused of kidnapping and fatally assaulting Tshepo Magagula, 21, on Monday.

They were not asked to plead to charges of murder when they appeared at Boschfontein Periodical Court on Tuesday afternoon, provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said on Wednesday morning.

The cases against two others were withdrawn because they could not be positively linked to the incident.

“Lubisi and the other two men were released on R500 bail by the Boschfontein Periodical Court,” Mohlala said.

He said the dead man was suspected of having committed a robbery at another village on July 20.

The case against the three was postponed to August 27.

Lubisi is not the first leader of the Ehlanzeni region to be accused of crime in recent times.

Mpumalanga capital city ward councillor Kenneth Mkhonto will appear in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on October 2 in connection with an arson case.

Mkhonto is accused of leading a march during which the house, vehicle and shop belonging to a fellow community member were set alight in Mataffin earlier this month.

Mkhonto and a member of the mayoral committee, Constance Maseko, were later released on R1 000 bail.

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