Picture: Noor Slamdien/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Cape Town - Three men accused of the murder of top advocate Pete Mihalik appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Thursday where their bail application was postponed until next year.

Sizwe Sinzokohle Biyela, 26, Nkosinathi Khumalo, 31, and taxi business owner Vuyile Maliti, 35, are being kept in different prisons for their own safety, and this caused a lengthy delay as prison officials failed to get them to court on time.

Unlike their previous court appearances, in which they were placed on the court roll first, they were only brought to court shortly before the lunch adjournment.

Mihalik, 50, was shot in the head at point-blank range on the morning of October 31 as he dropped his children off at their private school Reddam House in Green Point. 

Mihalik's eight-year-old son sustained a gunshot wound to his jaw, but has since recovered. The advocate's teenage daughter, 17, who was in the back seat, was not injured. 

The gunman fired a shot through the driver's window of Mihalik's Mercedes-Benz although neigbours reported hearing two gunshots.

The State believes the murder was premeditated. In the charge sheet, the State alleges that the accused intentionally killed Mihalik by shooting him in the head with a firearm and that the offence "was committed by a person, group of persons, or syndicate acting in the execution or furtherance of a common purpose or conspiracy". 

In the attempted murder charge, the State alleged that the accused intentionally attempted to kill Mihalik's son by "shooting him in the face/head with a firearm and thereby inflicting serious and potentially life-threatening injuries".

The third and fourth charges relate to the accused's alleged possession of a 9mm unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

On Thursday, State prosecutor Helene Booysen told the court before the suspects appeared that Biyela and Khumalo wanted to be represented by separate legal aid lawyers. The third accused, Maliti, has a privately appointed lawyer from Johannesburg.

She also said there was no Zulu interpreter for the first two accused who are both from Kwazulu-Natal.

Magistrate Greg Jacobs postponed the case to February 15 for a formal bail application.

African News Agency/ANA