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Alleged mastermind in Andile Mbuthu’s murder due in court today

Mlungisi Thabethe (28) and six others, including a juvenile male, face charges of murder and kidnapping.

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 - The alleged mastermind behind the murder of a Durban matric pupil was expected back in the Verulam Magistrates Court on Thursday in a bid to secure bail.

Mlungisi Thabethe (28) and six others, including a juvenile male, face charges of murder and kidnapping.

The suspects were arrested in May following the disappearance of Andile Mbuthu after he was accused of stealing alcohol from a tavern in the oThongathi area, north of Durban.

Mbuthu was last seen in a video where he appeared heavily injured.

On Wednesday, Thabethe admitted to assaulting Mbuthu after suspecting him and others of stealing alcohol.

Thabethe said he dismissed Mbuthu shortly after he confessed to the theft and asked him not to set foot in his tavern ever again.

But senior state prosecutor Krishen Shah said they planned to argue that Thabethe used violence to force an admission out of Mbuthu.

The State opposed bail for Thabethe and five other suspects. The juvenile suspect abandoned his bail application last week and he was expected back in court next Monday.