Andile ‘Bobo’ Mbuthu’s murder-accused shot dead while out on bail. Mlungisi Thabathe, 28 was shot dead while driving on Gopalall Hurbans Road, Tongaat shortly after 9am on Thursday morning.

Andile ‘Bobo’ Mbuthu’s murder-accused shot dead while out on bail

One of the 7 men accused of the brutal murder of teenager Andile ‘Bobo’ Mbuthu has been killed in a drive-by shooting in Tongaat.

Mlungisi Thabathe, 28 was shot dead while driving on Gopalall Hurbans Road, Tongaat shortly after 9am on Thursday morning.

Reaction Unit SA (Rusa) said: “Thabathe was travelling from Gandhi’s Hill towards Hambanathi when the occupants of a white Toyota Quest opened fire on his silver VW Polo with high-calibre weapons.

“His vehicle was shot multiple times before it came to a stop. The driver was found slumped over the passenger seat. He sustained multiple gunshot wounds and died at the scene.”

The suspects’ white Toyota Quest was later spotted by police on patrol in Ndwedwe and the occupants opened fire, injuring a policeman.

Thabathe was one of 7 men charged with the murder and kidnapping of the 16-year-old, Mbuthu, nicknamed Bobo, last April.

The grade 12 pupil from Nkosibomvu Secondary School in Hambanathi was murdered last year for allegedly stealing alcohol during lockdown from a well-known tavern, Magagula Lounge in Hambanathi, Tongaat.

Six people were taken in for questioning on Thursday, May 7 and the following day, police divers found Mbuthu’s decomposed remains in a bag filled with bricks which had been dumped in the Wewe River on the outskirts of Tongaat.

He had been missing since April 28.

After his disappearance a video showing what is believed to be Mbuthu’s battered body lying in a pool of blood was widely circulated on social media.

The video sent shockwaves through the country and the Hambanathi community ran a powerful social media campaign under #JusticeForBobo.

The same evening his body was discovered a candlelight protest took place outside the tavern, but it escalated into lawlessness and in a fit of rage community members burnt down the tavern burnt down the tavern.

On May 11, six men appeared in the Verulam Magistrates Court.

Mlungisi Thabathe, 28, Andile Nhleko, 27, Mncedisi Mzobe, 27, Siyanda Msweli, 26, Lindani Ndlovu, 22, and Malusi Mthembu 27, were charged with the murder and kidnapping of Mbuthu.

The seventh suspect cannot be named as he is a minor.

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Thabathe, who was the main murder accused, was the owner of Magagula’s Lounge.

He was released on R10 000 bail from the Durban High Court on September 17, 2020.

During his bail application last June it emerged that Thabathe and Mbuthu were cousins as their fathers are brothers.

Thabathe was also believed to be linked to the taxi industry.

Provincial police spokesperson, Colonel Thembeka Mbele had not responded to comment at the time of publishing.

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