Court evacuated due to bomb scare ahead of murder-accused former MEC’s appearance

Mpumalanga agriculture MEC Mandla Msibi has been charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. File photo.
Mpumalanga agriculture MEC Mandla Msibi has been charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. File photo.
Image: Supplied

The Nelspruit magistrate's court, where fired agriculture MEC Mandla Msibi was due to appear for a second day on Wednesday, was evacuated due to a bomb scare.

“The department can confirm that a bomb threat concerning the Nelspruit magistrate’s court was indeed received this morning [Wednesday]. Precautionary measures were immediately taken, including evacuation of the facility, and an explosives team has attended to the site,” said justice department spokesperson Steve Mahlangu.

He said the department would provide further details on the incident in “due course”.

Msibi, a member of the ANC’s provincial executive committee, has been charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. He is alleged to have been involved in a shooting where two people were killed and a third person was wounded on August 22.

Msibi appeared in court on Tuesday, with the case rolled over to Wednesday when the state was due to lead evidence from the investigating officer.

Msibi was kept in custody after his court appearance on Tuesday. He was removed from his position as MEC for agriculture, rural development, land, and environmental affairs “with immediate effect”, on the same day.

Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane said she fired Msibi over his “much-publicised detention”.

“The decision to release Msibi has been taken in consideration of the seriousness of the charges he is facing, as well as the effect that same will have on his work as an executive authority in government,” said Mtshweni-Tsipane.

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