Murder accused cries as he looks at philanthropist's widow

Kwanele Thobela Mdlekeza.
Kwanele Thobela Mdlekeza.
Image: LULAMILE FENI

A youth accused of killing Mthatha businessman and philanthropist Ashley Mitchell in December cried when he looked at Mitchell's widow in the Mthatha magistrate's court on Tuesday.

The dreadlocked student wearing a white shirt, Kwanele Thobela Mdlekeza, 23,  did not tell  magistrate Michael Bradford why he was crying, but was given some time to compose himself before proceedings began again.

Mitchell's family, including his widow Celershia Mitchell and children, were in the public gallery, as were members of Mdlekeza's own family.

Mdlekeza is charged with murder and  robbery with aggravating circumstances.

A student at King Sabata Dalindyebo TVET College, he was arrested on Friday.

Mdlekeza said he would ask to be represented by a Legal Aid  lawyer as he had no money to hire a private attorney.

Mitchell was shot dead in front of his young children and wife at Ntlekiseni village near Mthatha on December 28. The gunmen sped off in his new car.

Mitchell, 59, was the director and owner of the River Jordan Christian School.

As DispatchLIVE was taking pictures of Mdlekeza, a woman who said she was his mother confronted the photographer.

A man who said he was the accused's older brother confronted DispatchLIVE in the passage outside the courtroom.

''If I see the name and pictures of my brother I will deal with you, I am not joking," he said.

The case was postponed to March 30 for further investigation and profiling.

Mdlekeza was remanded in custody.


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