Durban — The Durban High Court has found close friends of North Coast taxi boss Dustin Pillay guilty of fatally wounding him in September 2019.
The friends, Cebo Xulu and Thokozani “Ndayi” Mthethwa, were found guilty of 11 counts; and not guilty of 7 counts.
Pillay was an executive member of the Dolphin Coast Taxi Association, based in Shakaskraal. During 2019, taxi violence was rife in that area.
The killers were facing 18 counts, including conspiracy to commit murder, murder, eight counts of attempted murder, two counts of unlawful possession of firearms, with one being an automatic, unlawful possession of ammunition, theft of a motor vehicle, possession of stolen property, malicious injury to property and negligent driving.
Judge M E Nkosi said the State was successful in proving that the pair had killed Pillay. State witnesses told the court during the trial that Mthethwa shot Pillay at close range. The witnesses further said the killers were close friends of Pillay; they used to hang around together, and have braais and drinks. Moreover, a witness said Pillay even assisted Mthethwa with R7 000 for his wedding.
Both Xulu and Mthethwa denied all while on the stand. Judge Nkosi said the pair were put on the scene by the first witness who came to court. He said this witness had nothing to gain by implicating these men.
“The evidence of the first witness corroborated that of the other two witnesses,” said Judge Nkosi.
There were contradictions between what the first witness and the other two witnesses said, however, this was not much of a hurdle resulting in the court not being satisfied with their evidence.
Moreover, the State said prior to his death Pillay had made a number of reports or allegations to the police relating to, among others, murders being committed in the taxi industry.
“He allegedly implicated some of the taxi owners and executive members of the Dolphin Coast Taxi Association,” said the State.
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