By SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI and CARVIN GOLDSTONE
March 21, 2009
The Independent Democrats got a rude wake-up call yesterday when they discovered - from the Saturday Star - that one of their nominees to Parliament is a convicted killer. Shan Mohangi, 69, dismembered his girlfriend and then boiled the pieces.
Mohangi, from Verulam, changed his name to Narentuk Jumuna - the name on the list for the upcoming elections - after his conviction in Ireland, where he was studying medicine, more than 40 years ago.
The ID claim they had no idea he was convicted of such a crime.
Now red-faced party bosses have launched an urgent investigation - a day after the grace period ended for the Independent Electoral Commission and the public to object to any candidate appearing on party lists for the April 22 poll.
Jumuna failed to declare that he had a criminal record.
When approached by the Saturday Star on Friday, Jumuna denied he was standing for public office.
After being told he was number five on the KwaZulu-Natal list for the National Assembly and had failed to tell his party and the IEC about his criminal record, he retorted: "That was a long time ago. What the hell do I have to declare now? I don't have to declare anything. I've been a member of Parliament for a long time."
Jumuna could not be contacted later to talk about his past, and switched off his cellphone.
ID secretary-general Hanif Hoosen said the party was completely surprised by the revelation and promised to launch an investigation.
Hoosen said that if they had known of Jumuna's conviction, they would not have put him on the list.
He added it was impossible to do background checks on each of the candidates the party had submitted to the IEC to stand for public office.
If it was proved Jumuna was indeed Shan Mohangi, he would be disqualified as a candidate. "We can't afford to have a candidate of that stature," Hoosen pointed out.
Jumuna, who was a medical student at Dublin's Royal College of Surgeons at the time, killed Hazel Mullen during a jealous rage after she said she was breaking off their relationship.
At the time in 1963 the two were at the Green Tureen, at 95 Harcourt Street, Dublin, a restaurant where Jumuna worked as a part-time chef. Jumuna rented a flat on the top floor.
According to James Starrs, professor of law and forensic science at George Washington University who wrote an article on the case in 2006, Jumuna killed Mullen in a state of distress after she told him she was involved with another man.
Starrs said Jumuna panicked, dismembering her and burning her remains. He was caught in the act.
Jumuna was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to seven years' imprisonment at Mountjoy Prison in Dublin, but his prison term was cut short after only four years and he was deported to South Africa.
After Jumuna returned to SA, he became a very successful and respected businessman, and went on to win a seat in Parliament, Starrs said.
He was also a former MP in the old House of Delegates. In 1996, the National Party in KwaZulu-Natal suspended Jumuna, who was standing as one of its local government election candidates on claims of fraud.
The party, however, defended Jumuna when his criminal past was brought up, saying it should not affect his right to stand in the election.