THE murder trial of four men accused of assassinating North West billionaire Wandile Bozwana by shooting him several times at the N1 Garsfontein off-ramp, is expected to drag on for some time.
The State is still producing technical evidence regarding CCTV footage of Bozwana’s movements on the day of the killing.
It is claimed Bozwana and business partner and lover, Mpho Baloyi, were followed by a gang as they ran errands in Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton on October 2, 2015.
The prosecution says the pair were followed as they went to a shoe store inside the mall and when they visited a hair and nail salon, where each had a manicure and pedicure.
It is further claimed that they were followed when they went for lunch at McDonald's in Grayston Drive, and that when they headed on the highway towards Pretoria, the gang was still following them.
According to the State, the group following the pair included the accused before court. Prosecutor Jennifer Cronjé said the prosecution would prove that the murder was planned and that the accused acted with a common purpose.
The defence teams, however, are disputing the authenticity of the footage, and say the State had to prove this, as well as the chain of custody of the footage.
This resulted in a trial-within-a trial in which the State is placing mostly technical evidence before court.
This entails how the CCTV equipment operated and how the footage was secured.
The trial stood down for most of yesterday as one of the witnesses produced a picture clip from one of the scenes off the footage, the authenticity of which the defence questioned.
The witness was told to obtain the original footage from Nero Hair Salon where the footage was captured. Footage in this regard depicted Bozwana and Baloyi having pedicures. It is claimed that they were being watched while inside the salon.
The State will call at least seven more witnesses in the trial-within-a-trial before the defence will conduct its case in this regard.
It is expected that this could last several more weeks, before the court returns to the evidence relating to the killing.
The State, however, indicated that it will later in the trial again hold a trial-within-a-trial regarding certain statements some of the accused had made after their arrest.
Sipho Patrick Hudla, 34, of Soweto, Matamela Robert Mutapa, 40, of Bramley, Vusi Reginald Mathibela, 30, of Midrand, and Bonginkosi Paul Khumalo, 36, of Johannesburg all earlier pleaded not guilty to Bozwana’s murder and the attempted murder of Baloyi.