Family Of Murder Victim Demands Prison For Accused, Rejects R500,000 Compensation

The family of a man shot and killed by an alleged friend sought assistance from AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit, alleging that the investigating officer and prosecutor attempted to persuade them to accept a plea agreement.

Xolani Kunene, 38, was slain outside a housing complex in Midrand in the early hours of August 13, 2022.

The father of two died on the scene.

Buhle Lebohang Mabaso, his boyhood friend, is suspected of murdering him.

Mabaso was caught a few hours later, apparently attempting to flee Gauteng.

He was eventually released on R10,000 bail.

Sindisiwe Kunene, Kunene’s 39-year-old sister, told IOL that she was unhappy with way the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) was handling her brother’s case.

“They told us this was an open and shut case because Buhle was captured by surveillance cameras shooting my brother, we were also convinced that it won’t take long because there was overwhelming evidence against Buhle but two years there is no progress in the case and keeps getting postponed without valid reasons,” she said.

According to Mhlongo, Mabaso’s counsel approached the prosecution in 2023 and offered Kunene’s family R500,000 in exchange for pleading guilty to culpable homicide and receiving a suspended sentence.

“The prosecution and the detective were trying to convince us to take the compensation, they were specifically convincing my brother’s wife that this is the best she could get because some people get nothing.

“I intervened and told them that my brother was a civil engineer and we would prefer pursuing a wrongful death and loss of support case through the civil courts as that is worth millions,” she said.


Mhlongo believes her brother’s murder was premeditated since the accused and the deceased were estranged after a disagreement in 2016; three weeks after Mabaso called to make peace, her brother was killed.

She claimed that Mabaso approached her brother about a business opportunity, and her brother, an entrepreneur, was interested because he was having financial issues at the time.

“I’m assuming that’s why he entertained Buhle because he needed money to provide for his family and he didn’t want an old beef to stand in the way.”

On the eve of the murder, August 12, she said Mabaso went to her brother’s house and asked him to sign some papers for a tender deal and then suggested that they go out for the night.

“To show that Buhle was acting with intention, there was a third party who needed a lift home and he lives several blocks from my brother’s house. Buhle had to pass my brother’s home to drop off this other person, he drove past with my brother because he needed him alone to kill him.”

Mhlongo said her brother was shot at least five times and it was absurd for the prosecution to ask them to accept compensation which will allow Mabaso to walk free.

Meanwhile, AfriForum spokesperson Barry Bateman, said after seeing the surveillance footage of the shooting, they believe Mabaso should be charged with murder.

“We will closely monitor the case and ensure that all the evidence, including the surveillance footage, is presented to the court,” said Bateman.

NPA Gauteng spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane was unavailable for comment. This story will be updated with her comments as soon as IOL receives them.

The matter will be back in court on July 29.

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