MP mbanje case postponed

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The trial of Member of the House of Assembly for Mpopoma/Pelandaba constituency, Samuel Sandla Khumalo, facing charges of possession of mbanje, was yesterday postponed to October 19.

Khumalo asked for the postponement of the matter because on the day in question he will be in Parliament.

Six State witnesses have already testified and Khumalo will now be put to his defence.

Khumalo pleaded not guilty to possessing mbanje and also to two other counts of assault by gesture or word.
The case is before Bulawayo provincial magistrate Rose Dube.

He denies ever being in possession of the illicit drug and claims the drug that was recovered from his vehicle and hidden in his bedroom was planted by the police as part of a scheme to prosecute officials from the MDC-T party.

Khumalo also denied making any threats to anyone. He is out of custody on $50 bail.

Allegations against him are that on March 4 this year, he was found with 4,5 grammes of mbanje with a street value of $4,50 in his vehicle after he had been taken to Western Commonage Police Station following his alleged involvement in a fracas in his constituency.

The following day the police took him to his residence for further searches and they allegedly found 40,5 grammes of mbanje hidden in his bedroom.

The State alleges that on February 19 this year, the MP went to the residence of one Simon Nyoni, a member of MDC-T where he confronted him.

He allegedly threatened him in Ndebele saying: “You are the one going around telling people not to vote for me saying I smoke mbanje. I will do you harm.”

The court heard that Khumalo went on to say that he was giving Nyoni a final warning and drove away.
Khumalo is also accused of threatening a party provincial executive member, Aleck Gumede, with assault.

Jerry Mutsindikwa is prosecuting while Matshobana Ncube of PhuluNcube Legal Practitioners is representing Khumalo.