Exhibits delay trial of Vusi ’Khekhe’ Mathibela, co-accused for murder of Wandile Bozwana
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Pretoria - The murder trial of billionaire businessman Wandile Bozwana may possibly go ahead at the end of this month.
Yesterday, the legal team of the four men accused of involvement in the killing indicated that it expected to receive an array of exhibits from prosecution experts by the end of the week.
The trial of Vusi “Khekhe” Mathibela, the man dubbed Mamelodi’s Number 1 Tsotsi by Police Minister Bheki Cele, Matamela Robert Mutapa, Bonginkosi Khumalo and Sipho Hudla had stalled as their team awaited the exhibits.
These include cellphone records and video footage taken at Sandton Square at the time of Bozwana’s death. The prosecution used this evidence presented by its experts to try to place the accused at the scene of the crime.
The State presented video footage taken on the day Bozwana was gunned down on the N1 Garsfontein off-ramp in Pretoria East in October 2015.
The CCTV footage was taken shortly before the alleged assassination, while Bozwana and his business partner, Mpho Baloyi, were shopping at Sandton Square. It is claimed that some of the accused followed the pair that morning while they were shopping.
The footage is not clear, but the prosecution called a facial recognition expert to try and prove that the footage did depict some of the accused.
Through cellphone evidence presented by experts, the prosecution endeavoured to prove that the accused were in the vicinity of the scene where Bozwana was gunned down and Baloyi was wounded.
The defence, which now has to present its case after the prosecution closed its case, asked to be handed these exhibits, so that its own team of experts could examine them as part of the defence’s case.
The trial stood down until tomorrow to ensure that the defence received these exhibits and to pave the way forward for the trial.
Prosecutor Jennifer Cronje said the criminal roll for next year was full to the brim during the first court term, which ends around April.
Judge Mokhine Mosopa, however, said there was a possibility that he could continue with the trial on November 29 for a week. But this will only be confirmed tomorrow.
The KwaZulu-Natal taxi boss alleged to be the trigger man in the murder of Bozwana, Senzo Mncube, was also present in court yesterday.
He was called to the dock along with the other four accused, but Cronje soon pointed out to the police that there were only four accused in this matter.
Mncube, who was recently arrested in KwaZulu-Natal after he had allegedly evaded the law for six years, then took his place behind the dock under heavy police guard.
The reason for him being brought to court yesterday was not made clear by any of the parties. Mncube is expected to be tried separately for the Bozwana killing.
The case of the prosecution is mainly based on circumstantial evidence as well as confessions made by some of the accused.
The accused, however, dispute these confessions and claim they were made under duress.
It is alleged that on Mathibela’s instruction the three men shot and killed Bozwana when he and Baloyi stopped at a traffic light at the Garsfontein off-ramp.
Mathibela was not often mentioned during the prosecution’s case, apart from in the “confessions” and in relation to cellphone evidence which placed him somewhere in the vicinity after the killing.
He and his co-accused have denied any knowledge of the murder.
Judge Mosopa earlier accepted the confessions as evidence, but the defence said the evidence led by the prosecution contradicted the evidence in the confession statements, thus the judge should subsequently disallow these statements.