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Nelspruit - Self-confessed hitman Kenneth Nkosi told the Nelspruit High Court on Friday that a prominent taxi boss paid him R10,000 to shoot dead taxi owner Abaneel Mokoena in the 1990s.
Nkosi said he was hired by Samuel “Vuyo” Manganye, 59, who was president of the Federated Local and Long Distance Taxi Association (FELLDTA), which had offices in Pretoria.
Defence attorney Hendrik Potgieter, who represents Manganye, Calvin Lubisi, 47, and Mfanufikile “Mamelodi” Mbonani, 33, had asked that Nkosi be called back for cross-examination.
Potgieter accused Nkosi of presenting conflicting statements.
“My client, Manganye, is denying that he ever made the payment on Mokoena's death. Lubisi and Mbonani have also denied any involvement in this matter.
“This witness is only trying to implicate Manganye into this case,” Potgieter told the court.
Nkosi Ä who is currently serving a life sentence after being convicted in 2001 for murder, robbery, and possession of a firearm and ammunition Ä testified that he made the statement voluntarily, freely, and without any pressure.
“This is only the truth and I remember well all that I related to the police member who took my statement. It is the truth and nobody can deny it,” Nkosi told the court.
Manganye, Lubisi, and Mbonani have pleaded not guilty to 12 charges, including three counts of murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping, illegal possession of 9mm pistols and revolvers, illegal possession of AK-47 assault rifles and ammunition, and pointing a firearm.
Lubisi and Mbonani managed the Successful United Taxi Association (SUTA) that was affiliated to FELLDTA and operated between Mbombela, Hazyview, and Bushbuckridge.
The “taxi war” was between FELLDTA and the South African Local and Long Distance Taxi Association (SALLDTA) and its smaller affiliates.
Justice Elias Matojane postponed the case to Monday for further cross-examination. - Sapa