Bodyguard of Mpumalanga multimillionaire businessman reveals how desperate Chabalala wanted Ngcongo to be killed and was prepared to pay any money for the mission
The bodyguard of fugitive multimillionaire trucking tycoon Sam “Mshengu” Chabalala has fingered the flamboyant businessman as the brains behind the murder of Nkosinathi Ngcongo, who was his friend and manager at his Sam Holdings company.
Phindokuhle Eugene Nkosi, who pleaded guilty to Ng congo’s murder, claimed in his confession statement that was presented before the Mpumalanga High Court sitting in the Delmas magistrate’s court that Chabalala asked him to acquire the services of a hitman to kill Ngcongo after he was arrested for fraud and corruption charges on September 6 last year.
Ngcongo was shot eight times at the Sam Holdings premises in Bethal on September 12 last year when Mshengu was in police custody.
In the confession statement, Nkosi, who was employed by Ocean Dawn, a security company that was contracted to Sam Holdings, said Chabalala wanted Ngcongo dead because he believed that he was the reason he was behind bars.
Nkosi said Chabalala made the request while he was in hospital, after he was allegedly poisoned while in custody.
On September 11 2019, I visited Mr Chabalala. He requested me to go look for a hitman who can kill Mr Nkosinathi Emmanuel Ngcongo as he was the one who caused him to be arrested by the Hawks. He indicated that he would pay any price to be demanded by the hitman,” Nkosi said.
Nkosi said he was able to get in touch with a man known to him as Khumalo, to whom he relayed Chabalala’s request.
“During the day, I showed Khumalo Mr Nkosinathi Emmanuel Nkosi and indicated to him that this is the person he is supposed to kill. That evening at around 5.30pm, Khumalo and I were at Sam Holdings in Bethal and he indicated that he was waiting for an opportune moment to shoot the deceased, ” Nkosi said in his statement.
“At some stage while we sat in the car, Khumalo indicated that he was going to the toilet. After a short while I heard several gunshots fired in the direction where the deceased had been standing. ”
He said Khumalo came running back to the car and the pair drove out of the business premises at high speed.
He said he drove the hitman to Emalahleni where he caught a taxi to Johannesburg.
Theman identified as Khumalo is yet to be arrested and the Hawks have launched a manhunt for him.
Nkosi was sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment on October 25 for his role in Ngcongo’s murder
Thandeka Ngcongo, the deceased’s sister, told Sowetan yesterday they were happy that Nkosi admitted to his role in the murder and that it at least gave them a bit of closure.
“It shed some light on what happened and we are happy about it. But it leaves a lot of questions unanswered.
We can’t say [anything] about Sam being implicated in this because he is wanted. But we are happy with the outcome,” Thandeka said.
Chabalala’s wife Lerato Legodi hung up the phone when Sowetan asked her yesterday to comment about Nkosi’s confession statement.
Hawks spokesperson Col Katlego Mogale said Chabalala was still at large with warrants of arrests issued on his real name, Gilbert Tachuona, for corruption.
Mogale said no warrant had been issued for the murder of Ngcongo.
Ngcongo’s murder occurred six days after Chabalala was arrested for allegedly paying home affairs officials a R40,000 bribe to stall investigations into the validity of his SA identity document.
Chabalala was charged with corruption, illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, illegal entry, departing and remaining within the borders of SA, and providing false information to be granted entry into the country. He was granted R200,000 bail at the Witbank magistrate’s court in September last year, but was arrested again less than six months later on charges of corruption and bribery. This was after he allegedly attempted to bribe a senior police officer to return his vehicle and make his docket disappear. He was granted R500,000 bail in this matter before he disappeared.
Hawks spokesperson Cpt Dineo Sekgotodi said they issued a warrant of arrest for both cases and that anyone with information about Chabalala’s whereabouts should contact Cpt Meyer on 071-4812977.
Chabalala, who goes by the clan name Mshengu, shot to national prominence in July last year after images of a fleet of his expensive cars driving down to Durban for the annual Durban July horse racing event trended on social media.