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Suspects accused of shooting Kouga councillor appear in court


Determined to face the alleged gunmen who tried to kill him, a DA councillor showed up at the Humansdorp Magistrates Court on Monday, with four of the seven bullets that struck him still lodged inside his body.

Ward 4 councillor Jaques Alexander arrived at court mere hours after he was discharged from a Gqeberha hospital and sat in the front row of the public gallery, where he had a clear view of the alleged shooters.

Alexander was shot and wounded outside of the Kouga Municipality's headquarters on Da Gama Road on Thursday afternoon.

He told Algoa FM News that he arrived at the office at around 15:45 and that he heard gunshots as he bent down to reach for his cell phone which was on the car charger.

"That probably saved my life, because when I looked over my shoulder I realised that I was being shot at.

"When I opened the door I knew for sure that I had been shot. I could feel the pain and saw that my window was shattered."

Police arrested four suspects in connection with the shooting, on the same day.

Alexander shooters

During their first appearance in court on Monday, Mthumzi Lani, Lutho Mbatha, Luciano Jacobs, and Athenkosi Gidane were charged with attempted murder and the hijacking of a motor vehicle.

All of the accused will be assisted by an attorney from Legal Aid South Africa in the Humansdorp region.

Alexander said he was determined to come to court to face his attackers.

"I want to look at them in their faces.

"What I want to know is why they did it, who sent them, and how much they were paid to try to end my life."

Even though Thursday's attempt to end his life took Alexander by surprise, he had received threats in the past.

"I received a threatening message a couple of months ago on my vehicle where someone had written 'Rest in Peace' but I did not take it too seriously," he said.

Even though the motive for the attack is still unknown, the DA has speculated that the attack could be politically driven.

"If this was political then I want to send out a message to those people who thought they could stop me.

"I won't stop to service my people. This incident has motivated me even more to serve the people of Kouga," he said.

The State requested a remand to verify the accused's bail profiles.

The accused will appear in court again on 8 March.