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Slain Andile Mbuthu related to one of his murder accused, court hears

Andile Mbuthu was kidnapped and assaulted in April after being accused of stealing alcohol from a tavern in the oThongathi area, north of Durban.

Accused number one in the Andile Mbuthu kidnapping and murder case, Mlungisi Thabethe (28), appears in the Verulam Magistrates Court on 3 June 2020 in a bid to secure bail. Picture: Nkosikhona Duma/EWN

DURBAN - It's emerged in the Verulam Magistrates Court that a slain Durban matric pupil and one of the accused in his murder are related.

Andile Mbuthu was kidnapped and assaulted in April after being accused of stealing alcohol from a tavern in the oThongathi area, north of Durban.

The State has alleged that the first suspect, Mlungisi Thabethe, was the mastermind behind the incident as the other accused took orders from him as their employer.

Thabethe was the first of six suspects who took the stand in a bid to secure bail.

He argued that his business interests, which include a taxi enterprise, a tavern and a carwash, would suffer if he remained in police custody.

But State prosecutor Krishen Shah said that this argument was poor because the businesses were family owned and had continued to operate since Thabethe was arrested last month.

After long and often heated exchanges between Shah and Thabethe, the court ran out of time.

The matter was adjourned to Thursday.

The seventh suspect, a juvenile, abandoned his bail application last week and he's expected back in court next Monday.