Themba Mgabe fears for his life. Picture: Dimpho Maja/ANA Pictures

Johannesburg - Fear has gripped the alleged victims of a self- proclaimed crime kingpin who has been released from prison despite facing multiple charges, including attempted murder and kidnapping.

Blaise Kalaty, a DR Congo national and a self-proclaimed drug dealer, prostitution-ring owner and property hijacker, was arrested in May for attempted murder and intimidation almost a year after arrest warrants were issued for him for the crimes he allegedly committed in 2016.

The warrants were issued after Themba Mgabe, a South African, was allegedly poisoned by Kalaty and Mgabe’s estranged wife Vivian, with whom Kalaty was allegedly having an affair.

According to a series of text messages which The Star has seen, Kalaty bragged through SMSes about how he wanted to kill Mgabe, hijack his two properties and turn them into drug and prostitution dens, as he had supposedly done to other people.

Medical records from various doctors show that Themba Mgabe was hospitalised on numerous occasions in a three-year period from 2015 for “strange illnesses”, which he believes to have been poisoning.

“Bra I want you to get this house firing on all cylinders so that when I invite my associates they can come spend money here,” Kalaty wrote in April.

Phindi Mjonondwane, Gauteng spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority, said Vivian Mgabe was the only accused for the attempted murder and intimidation case after charges against Kalaty were dropped because there was insufficient evidence.

She appeared in the Orlando Magistrate's Court last week, where her case was postponed to next month.

In June, Kalaty was arrested again for the alleged kidnapping of Mgabe's business partner and current romantic partner, whose name is known to The Star and who asked to remain anonymous for fear of harassment.

The 44-year-old woman was allegedly abducted in Soweto by four men, one of whom she pointed out in a police identity parade as Kalaty.

Mjonondwane, however, said Kalaty had been released because there was insufficient evidence to continue with the prosecution as “it was a known fact that Mgabe had multiple photos of the said Kalaty on his phone”.

Mjonondwane did not say whether Kalaty was still in South Africa.

Kalaty is a “prohibited person” in the country, after being flagged by the Department of Home Affairs for possessing a forged passport, operating under three aliases and for fraudulently acquiring permanent residency and a visa.

This was according to an affidavit by Rachelle Reyneke, a director at Home Affairs.

Thabo Mokgola, a spokesperson for Home Affairs, said the department was concerned by actions which sought to compromise the security of its document procurement processes.

Home Affairs had launched a campaign through its counter-corruption unit to root out graft, Mokgola added.

Mgabe and his partner said they feared for their lives due to threatening messages that Kalaty sends, the contents of which had been shared with investigators.

“I’m very scared for my life and for my children because, even when I'm out in public, I don't know who is following me. I'm just waiting to be kidnapped and then killed. This is the fear which I live with every day,” Mgabe's partner said.


The Star