Murder-accused school principal warned to stay away from State witnesses

From left Faith Ntombela, Khulani Cele and Sthembiso Khumalo. Picture: Nomonde Zondi

From left Faith Ntombela, Khulani Cele and Sthembiso Khumalo. Picture: Nomonde Zondi

Published Jun 13, 2024


Durban — In the Durban High Court on Thursday (today), Mpumulwane Primary School principal Sthembiso Khumalo, who is accused of the murder of Durban metro police officer Captain Thomas Zwelakhe Ntombela, was warned not to get in touch with State witnesses.

Captain Ntombela was shot in May 2022 outside his home at uMlazi S section, while he was closing the gate.

Khumalo is accused alongside Ntombela’s wife, Faith Ntombela and Khulani Cele, who is serving a sentence for a different matter in Kokstad prison.

Khumalo, Ntombela and Cele face charges of murder, two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition.

State senior prosecutor advocate Krishen Shah told the court that Khumalo, the third accused, has been in contact with State witnesses. He then said they would add another condition to his bail.

“You are not allowed to be in contact with State witnesses,” he said.

Khumalo was granted R5 000 bail in December last year by the uMlazi Magistrate’s Court, while Ntombela was denied bail.

Faith Ntombela who is accused of killing her husband Captain Thomas Zwelakhe Ntombela. Picture: Nomonde Zondi

Furthermore, Faith, who is always happy whenever she appears in court, was not in high spirits on Thursday; she was also wearing a Rosary around her wrist. In this matter, she also faces two counts of theft and two counts of defeating the course of justice.

The State alleges that she made a false statement to the police about the murder of her husband. It further alleges that before Captain Ntombela was killed Faith commenced a romantic relationship with Cele.

“At some stage, she requested Cele and Khumalo and others to murder Captain Ntombela in exchange for money and a Suzuki motor vehicle to which they agreed,” the State said.

Furthermore, the State alleges that Cele and Khumalo procured the services of Mzo Ntombela in exchange for money to kill Captain Ntombela. Mzo was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment last year in August after he spilt the beans on who sent him to kill the captain who was attached to the VIP unit.

The matter was postponed to July 25 for a pre-trial conference and for Cele to get a representative. Cele asked to get a legal aid lawyer to represent him.

Sunday Tribune