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Court ready to hear final arguments in trial of Vusi ‘Khekhe’ Mathibela, co-accused

Vusi ‘Khekhe’ Mathibela in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Vusi ‘Khekhe’ Mathibela in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 17, 2022

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Pretoria - The Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, yesterday said it was ready to hear final arguments in the trial of controversial Mamelodi businessman Vusi “Khekhe” Mathibela and his three co-accused, who stand accused of murdering billionaire Wandile Bozwana.

However, the proceedings were once again delayed, this time because one of the lawyers fell ill.

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Judge Papi Mosopa said he had postponed other cases to pave the way for this trial to go ahead so that it could, after several years in court, finally come to a conclusion.

Mathibela and Sipho Hudla, Matamela Robert Mutapa and Bonginkosi Paul Khumalo are facing a charge of murder following the assassination of businessman Bozwana in 2015 as well as the attempted murder of his business partner, Mpho Baloyi.

The trial kicked off in the high court in 2017 and is due to be concluded soon after all the accused had closed their cases without testifying in their defence.

Counsel for Hudla and Mutapa, however, fell ill over the weekend and was unable to pitch up at court yesterday.

Prosecutor Jennifer Cronje said she was ready to present her final legal arguments, while Mathibela’s advocate Gerhard Botha said he too was ready to present his arguments.

He told the court that his client was especially being prejudiced by the slow pace of the proceedings, as he is in custody.

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Cronje complained to the judge that she was only told yesterday morning that lawyer Anneline van den Heever was not well and would not be able to attend the proceedings.

The trial was postponed to June 3, when it is expected that final arguments will be delivered before the court hands down its verdict on whether the four should be convicted or not on the charges.

Judge Mosopa, last year, turned down an application for the four to be dismissed on all charges. The co-accused believed they did not have a case to answer.

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This was after the State had closed its case. The judge was told at the time that there was no need for them to prove their defence as all that was before the court was circumstantial evidence.

The judge at the time refused the application and found that the prosecution had a prima facie case against them to which they should answer. Yet all four accused chose not to put their versions before the court in person.

Bozwana was gunned down on the N1 highway in 2015 following a shopping spree earlier that day with Baloyi in Sandton.

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It is claimed that the four accused followed him and that three of them were directly involved in the shooting while Mathibela watched from a distance.

All four vehemently denied any knowledge of the incident.

Mathibela, through his lawyer, did not deny that he was at Sandton City on the day of the incident, but he had called a witness who said he was a regular customer at a high-end men’s fashion store at the mall.

Neither he nor his co-accused, however, wanted to take the stand to testify and subject themselves to cross examination by the prosecution.

Pretoria News

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