Johannesburg - A man tasked with ensuring a consignment of drugs reached Australia via the OR Tambo International Airport feared for his life, the High Court in Johannesburg, sitting in Palm Ridge, heard on Monday.
The man, known as Doctor, had been hunted by Desai Luphondo, instructed by his boss, Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir.
Doctor, an employee at a cargo company at the airport, had disappeared with 25kg of tik which he was supposed to have helped ship to Australia in June 2013, the court heard.
Krejcir, Luphondo, Samuel Modise Maropeng, George Jeff Nthoroane, Jan Lefu Mofokeng, and Siboniso Miya are on trial on charges of the attempted murder and kidnapping of Doctor's brother. Krejcir and Luphondo also face drug dealing charges.
The kidnapped man was allegedly kept at Krejcir's Money Point business in Bedfordview, Johannesburg, in June last year where he was reportedly assaulted for four days.
State witness Peter Vusi Msimango, who was asked by Luphondo to help locate Doctor, said Doctor believed he would be killed for the drugs.
“Desai told Doctor when we finally met up with him at a filling station that the boss 1/8Krejcir 3/8 understood that the consignment went missing, but wanted him to come and take a lie detector test,” Msimango told the court.
Doctor, who was with a “very aggressive” man called Sobabalo, refused to come along.
“He told Desai there was no guarantee that he would come back alive should he go with him to see the boss,” Msimango said.
Doctor said he would come along the following day in the company of a relative to ensure his safety. Msimango said Doctor was paid R70 000 upfront to ensure the drugs reached the destination.
He would have been paid between R250 000 and R350 000 had the consignment reached Australia, said Msimango.
“It emerged that Doctor had successfully shipped 5kg of crystal meth before... it was decided that the amount of drugs be increased to 25kg because Doctor charged them a lot of money.”
Msimango said he became aware of who the boss was after Luphondo told him the drugs belonged to Krejcir. The men, Msimango, his friend Paul, and Luphondo met again the following day at Eastgate mall, Johannesburg.
They travelled to find Doctor in Luphondo's Mercedes-Benz.
When Luphondo called Doctor to inquire about his whereabouts, Doctor told him they should arrange to meet some other time.
“Desai called the boss and told him Doctor was giving him problems and was being evasive,” Msimango said.
Luphondo informed Paul and Msimango that Krejcir wanted to have Doctor's brother kidnapped.
“I then asked him how the kidnapping was going to be carried out... Desai said the boss said he would send his policemen to do the job,” said Msimango.
The trial continues.