THE three accused in the Pete Mihalik murder case - Sizwe Biyela, 26, Nkosinathi Khumalo, 31, and Vuyile Maliti - at an earlier appearance.
Cape Town - An array of evidence that linked the three accused with the murder of advocate Pete Mihalik, and the fact that it was planned, are among the reasons why bail was denied in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Magistrate Greg Jacobs received electronic versions of the heads of arguments from the State and lawyers for Sizwe Biyela, Nkosinathi Khumalo and Vuyile Maliti last week. On Monday, the signed documents were handed in and, Jacobs immediately delivered his ruling.

The trio face charges of murder, attempted murder and the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. The indictment states that on, or about, October 30 last year, near the corners of Thornhill and Cavalcade road in Green Point, the accused wrongfully and intentionally killed Mihalik by shooting him in the head with a firearm.

In his ruling, Jacobs said the cellphone records linked the accused to the scene and Biyela and Khumalo in their affidavits implicated Maliti as the one who planned the murder. As far as their not-guilty plea, the accused provided no competitive evidence that would enhance their litigation. The defence’s argument that the State case had no merit, and was not strong, lacked substance. “There exists prima facie evidence before this court that it was a well organised and meticulous plan to kill Mihalik.”

Jacobs added that CCTV footage showed Biyela, after waiting for some time, walking up to Mihalik’s car when he was about to drop his children at school. The evidence contained in investigation officer Charl Kinnear’s affidavit indicated that Biyela took out the gun and fired two shots to Mihalik’s head, and also injured his son.

“I’m convinced that no exceptional circumstances exist to release the accused, and therefore bail for the three is denied,” Jacobs said.

The State’s reasons for opposing bail were that all three had a history of run-ins with law enforcement: that Biyela and Khumalo have outstanding matters in KwaZulu-Natal; are allegedly hitmen for hire in the taxi industry, and that Maliti obtained their services and persuaded them to come from KZN to execute the “hit” on Mihalik.

Jannie Kruger, counsel for Milati, submitted that the investigating officer tried to constitute a nexus between his client and the two other accused. He said the case against his client was based on circumstantial evidence. The trio are due to reappear in court again on August 12.

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