Bongani John Masombuka, Sfundo Harrison Nkosi, Khumbuzo Solomon Mukhuba, Brian Makhubedu and Mashudu Malema in the dock charged with the murder of actor and soccer player Dumisani Masilela. Zelda Venter
THE five men accused of murdering actor and football player Dumisani Masilela briefly appeared in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, yesterday.

Their case was postponed to Thursday to enable Legal Aid South Africa to provide them with a lawyer.

The accused are Bongani John Masombuka, 34, of Tembisa, Sfundo Harrison Nkosi, 30, Khumbuzo Solomon Mukhuba, 27, Brian Makhubedu, 24, and Mashudu Malema, 31, all of Ivory Park.

Masilela, 29, a Rhythm City actor, was gunned down during an attempted hijacking in August last year in Tembisa by the occupants of a black Jeep.

Masilela managed to drive himself to hospital, where he was operated on. However, he died later that day.

His alleged killers are facing 11 charges ranging from murder to robbery and kidnapping. The charges against them relate to a series of other incidents as well.

Masilela is claimed to have been only one of a number of victims who were allegedly targeted by the accused.

More than 70 witnesses are expected to testify in the trial.

According to the indictment, the accused begun their crime spree on June 24 last year when they allegedly hijacked a Toyota Quantum at gunpoint in Siyabuswa.

A few days later, they allegedly used the hijacked vehicle to hijack a black Jeep Wrangler in Daveyton. The owner was forced into the back seat.

They drove with him towards Tembisa, where it is claimed some of the accused waited along the road in the Toyota. They drove in convoy to Tembisa, with the hijacked man in the back seat.

It is claimed that Nkosi, who was driving the Jeep, stopped the vehicle next to a Golf 7 which belonged to Masilela. They allegedly tried to hijack his vehicle, but he managed to drive on.

Mukhuba apparently fired a shot in the direction of Masilela’s vehicle, which hit the actor in the abdomen. Masilela managed to drive himself to hospital, where he later died.

The owner of the Jeep was still inside his hijacked vehicle, but the robbers dropped him along the road after they drew money from his account. The abandoned the Jeep near the Ivory Park police station.

Two of the accused fled to Rustenburg in the hijacked Toyota after they heard that Mukhuba had been arrested.

There they alleged hijacked a Ford Ranger at gunpoint. The owner and a friend were taken to a veld where they were tied up.

Masombuka was arrested a few days later in possession of the Toyota, while Nkosi handed himself over.

The State claimed that the accused acted in a common purpose to commit these crimes. Makhubedu was arrested in June, while Malema was arrested two months ago.

None of the accused asked to plead to the charges and the court urged them to obtain lawyers to assist them with their case in light of the many charges against them.