UPDATE - South African provincial minister accused of double murder sacked

UPDATE - South African provincial minister accused of double murder sacked

Scores of people protest outside court in Mpumalanga province where minister was appearing


By Hassan Isilow

JOHANNESBURG (AA) - A provincial minister accused in a double murder case in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province has been sacked from his position, the provincial premier announced late Tuesday.

Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane said in a statement that she had taken the decision following the seriousness of the charges the minister faces.

Police said in a statement late Monday that Mpumalanga Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs Minister Mandla Msibi had surrendered in connection with at least two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

“He is alleged to have been involved in a shooting where two people were fatally shot and a third person was wounded on Aug. 22 in Nelspruit,” said a police statement.

On Tuesday, scores of people protested outside a court in Mpumalanga province where some of the minister’s supporters, wearing T-shirts of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party, chanted slogans demanding his release.

The provincial minister appeared in court Tuesday, but his bail application was suspended to Wednesday.

Msibi’s arrest now brings to three the number of people arrested in connection with the case.

On Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa reportedly called on the official to step aside as required by the ANC’s policy, according to several local media reports.​​​​​​​

Earlier this year, the ANC suspended its powerful secretary-general, Ace Magashule, and several others facing serious corruption charges.

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