The late Mahlangu’s court case rages on

A POLICE detective investigating the alleged theft of $7 000 from the late Nkulumane MP Thamsanga Mahlangu’s account was yesterday rapped by the defence lawyer for rushing to arrest the suspects before completing her investigations.

BY SILAS NKALA

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Detective Shillah Chipato was grilled by Bulawayo lawyer, Dumisani Dube, representing Mahlangu’s widow, Brenda Zaranyika and uncle, Joachim Mugova.

Mugova and Zaranyika are alleged to have withdrawn $7 000 from Mahlangu’s account on October 5, 2015 soon after the legislator’s death, but the pair has denied the charge.

Chipato told the court that Mahlangu’s aunt, Pretty Maphosa, who is the executor of the estate, reported the theft of money and investigations with the legislator’s bank confirmed the alleged illegal cash withdrawal.

“There were two withdrawals done on the same day and the transactions were done after the account holder’s death,” Chipato told the court.

She said the law says no withdrawals should be done from a deceased person’s account and the estate must be registered with the High Court. Chipato said a withdrawal slip, obtained from the bank, showed that Mugova had withdrawn some of the money.

Chipato admitted there was nothing that linked Zaranyika to the withdrawals, but suggested that the MP’s widow had implicated herself.

Dube also asked Chipato if she knew how many funeral wakes were conducted for the late legislator. She said she only knew of one, but the lawyer accused her of carrying shoddy investigations, as three separate wakes were held, as the families fought over his remains.

Chipato also admitted that when the money was withdrawn, Maphosa had not yet been appointed executor of the late MP’s estate.

Prosecutor Jeremiah Mutsindikwa said only one witness, the Master of the High Court was left to testify in the case on June 17.

Mahlangu succumbed to cancer on October 5, 2015 in Bulawayo and his funeral was marred by chaos, as three families, the Mugovas, the Mahlangus and his biological father’s side the Sangos fought over his remains. Bulawayo magistrate Gladmore Mushove is presiding over the matter.

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