Third ‘Angel brother’ in Ngcobo court

The third member of the notorious Mancoba brothers who run the controversial Angels Ministry Church in Ngcobo appeared in court yesterday on charges conspiracy to commit robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Ephraim Mancoba, 22, joined his elder siblings Banele Mancoba, 30, and Phuthumile Mancoba, 31, who have already appeared in the Ngcobo Magistrate’s Court.

Phuthumile, who appeared in court last week, has been charged with five counts of murder, two of robbery and a count each for attempted murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm following the deaths of five police members and an off-duty soldier last month, while Banele appeared in court on Monday alongside co-accused Siphenathi Mafikwana, 29, on charges of conspiracy to commit robbery with aggravating circumstances.

While both Banele and Mafikwana told the court that they had abandoned their bail applications, Ephraim told magistrate Vathiswa Mkhumbuzi that he would apply for bail.

However like his two co-accused, he opted to conduct his own defence.

Mkhumbuzi asked Ephraim if he had any pending cases or previous convictions to which he said he had none.

Wearing a greenish jacket similar to the one worn by Banele in court on Monday, Ephraim appeared subdued, and kept his head bowed for most of the proceedings, which only started shortly before 5pm.

Journalists attending the court case were barred from taking any pictures inside the courtroom.

Mkhumbuzi told Ephraim he was facing serious charges which, if he was convicted, could see him sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

The bail hearing was set for March 13 after senior state prosecutor Nomathamsanqa Booi asked for a postponement.

The Angels Ministry Church on the outskirts of Ngcobo was the scene of a deadly gun battle between police officers and suspects linked to the massacre of five police officers at the Ngcobo police station where around 10 firearms were stolen.

During a subsequent raid on the church in Nyanga village seven people, among them three of the seven Mancoba brothers, were killed. — sikhon@dispatch.co.za

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