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State urges court to find accused men guilty of killing taxi boss

Dustin Pillay taxi boss who was gunned down in September 2019. Picture: Supplied

Dustin Pillay taxi boss who was gunned down in September 2019. Picture: Supplied

Published Sep 14, 2023


Durban — The State has urged the Durban High Court to find the two men accused of killing a North Coast taxi boss guilty. The pair are Cebo Xulu and Thokozani Mthethwa and are facing 18 charges including the murder of Dustin Pillay the taxi boss.

Pillay who was an executive member of the Dolphin Coast Taxi Association based in Shakaskraal and was gunned down in September 2019. When the senior State prosecutor advocate Elvis Gcweka addressed the court on Thursday he said the State witnesses properly identified the accused. He said the evidence led in court by both the accused was inconsistent.

He said the accused were now trying to corroborate the evidence of the late Mfanufikile Dlamini which they did not do while he was alive. He said Mthethwa was saying that he was at Isipingo pound with Dlamini but failed to indicate this during his bail application and when he was charged.

Gcweka said Xulu could not provide an alibi even though he had the opportunity to do that. “Their evidence is non-existent; it’s just opportunistic now that Dlamini is not alive,” he said.

Furthermore, he admitted that there was contradiction from State witnesses between the first one and the two others. However, he said even though the State had charged the accused of attempted murder of this witness, he came to court and said the accused were shooting above their heads. He regarded him as an honest witness. he said the other two witnesses evidence corroborated.

He clarified the issue of identification. The witnesses had told the court that while there was shooting when they ran away they looked back and could see who the attackers were.

“In these few seconds it was enough for them to see who it was. My Lord it was not an issue of identification but of recognition,” said Gcweka.

He said the state did not recover the firearms that the accused are charged of. “The state is not charging them with the possessions of the firearms at the time of the arrest but during the commission of the offence,” he said.

Furthermore, he said even the witnesses did tell the court that the accused were carrying big guns. Gcweka said the State had overwhelming evidence that the pair killed Pillay.

However, defence counsel advocate G J Leppan said there were two versions from the State witnesses and the court should not ignore that. He said his clients Xulu and Mthethwa told the truth and regarded Xulu’s alibi as an honest witness.

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