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Meter taxi driver Mauridi Buhewdwa was dragged to death alongside his vehicle after he was hijacked in Cape Town’s CBD last year.
His name has been revealed in court documents before the Cape Town Regional Court.
Yakha Singqoto, 22, Aphiwe Ndara, 19, Thando Sikuni, 30, Mncedi Ndzabela, 23, and Vuyolwethu Tshonti, 20, have been charged with murder and aggravated robbery for the alleged hijacking.
It is the State’s case that the men posed as passengers, got into Buhewdwa’s taxi and assaulted him in a bid to steal his blue Toyota Camry on July 12 last year.
Police spotted suspicious behaviour and tried to stop the taxi.
In a desperate attempt to flee, the men allegedly dumped him out of the moving vehicle.
But Buhewdwa, 35, from Burundi, was still attached to the vehicle via his safety belt and was dragged for about 2km. Forensic crime scene photographs show blood smears across the road close to the Good Hope Centre, where the vehicle eventually came to a standstill.
Buhewdwa’s body was badly bruised and his clothes were ripped from his body. Only a fraction of his T-shirt still covered his chest.
After the vehicle came to a halt the men allegedly tried to run away but were arrested and held in custody for two weeks until their bail application.
The State did not oppose their release on bail because they had fixed addresses and were not flight risks.
The court heard that while Singqoto and Ndara had no criminal records, Sikuni had a previous conviction for possession of dagga. Ndzabela had a pending case of dagga possession and Tshonti a pending case of drinking in public.
The men said in their bail affidavits that they disputed their involvement in the crime and would plead not guilty to the charges.
They were released on R1 000 bail each.
The case against the men has now moved to the Cape Town Regional Court where the trial is expected to be heard.
If convicted, the men face a minimum sentence of life in prison unless they can show substantial and compelling reasons to justify a deviation.
They are due back in court on September 30, when they were expected to arrange a date for plea and trial.