Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Taxi drivers versus gangsters war in North West lands 12 in court for murder

By Jonisayi Maromo Time of article published Sep 21, 2021

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Pretoria - Twelve taxi operators, facing two charges of murder were on Tuesday returning to the High Court in North West, sitting in the Klerksdorp Regional Court.

The alleged murderers appeared in court on Monday, and their case was rolled over to Tuesday for cross-examination.

In addition to the murder charges, members of the group are also facing four cases of attempted murder, according to North West regional spokesperson of the National prosecuting Authority (NPA) Henry Mamothame.

“When the matter appeared before the same court in June 2021, two of the state witnesses who survived the attack had already testified about their ordeal in the hands of the alleged perpetrators,” said Mamothame.

“When proceedings commenced [on Monday], the state representative, Advocate Benny Kalakgosi led more evidence by calling a third witness, Kashiso Mahashe, who testified on how badly injured he was after the onslaught. He gave an account of his near-death experience and how it’s still affecting his livelihood.”

Mamothame said on 19 September 2018, the accused people who are said to be taxi operators in Boitumelo near Bloemhof, allegedly forcefully took six of the victims to Boitumelo taxi rank and assaulted them with spades, pangas, sjamboks, sticks and other objects.

“The six were allegedly criminals belonging to a criminal gang known as SVK, notorious for terrorising the community for a long period and some of them facing criminal charges. The taxi operators then took it upon themselves to deal with these alleged criminals by taking the law into their own hands,” said Mamothame.

During the assault, Mooketsi Mogapi, 33, died on the scene and Teboho Thoo, 21, died four days later in hospital.

Shadrack Mokonyane, France Watkins, Kashiso Mahashe and Thabang Leepile were severely injured but survived the onslaught.

The National Prosecuting Authority said eleven of the accused taxi operators: Olebogeng Ndlovu, 28, Ivan Leonard, 31, Mxholeli Bongola, 41, Poliri Mohlolo, 26, Isaac Ndlovu, 29, Ishmael Ngubane, 29, Nkululeko Nkencele, 48, James Qankase, 36, Jeremah Bonokwane, 20, Boitumelo Magage, 25 and Daniel Qangase, 50 are out on warning.

The twelfth murder accused Mohau Motswana, aged 43 remains in police custody for a different criminal matter.

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