Killing Rhythm City actor Dumisani Masilela never part of the plan - accused
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Pretoria - One of the men accused of murdering Rhythm City actor Dumisani Masilela, said in a “confession” shortly after his arrest that the plan was never to hijack or kill the actor as he was a well-known face in Tembisa.
Sfundo Harrison Nkosi said in the statement, earlier handed in to the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, they were on a hijacking spree around the time Masilela was killed in June 2017.
One of his co-accused acted on a frolic of his own when he jumped out of their car and shot the actor during a botched hijacking, he said.
Nkosi, 30, of Ivory Park, Bongani John Masombuka, 34, of Tembisa, and Khumbuzo Solomon Mukhuba, 27, Brian Makhubedu, 24, and Mashudu Malema, 31, all of Ivory Park, appeared again in court yesterday.
All five earlier pleaded not guilty to 11 charges ranging from murder to robbery and kidnapping. The charges include a series of other incidents.
Masilela, 29, an actor and soccer player, was gunned down during an attempted hijacking by the occupants of a black Jeep, which had been hijacked earlier that day.
Masilela managed to drive himself to hospital, where he had surgery.
However, he died later that day.
It was reported he was the only one of a number of victims who were allegedly targeted by the accused.
The State said the accused began their crime spree when they allegedly first 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, with some of the accused allegedly waiting along the road in the Toyota. They drove in convoy to Tembisa, with the hijacked man.
It is claimed that Nkosi, who was driving the Jeep, stopped the vehicle next to the Golf 7 belonging 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 but he drove himself to hospital.
The owner of the Jeep was still in the back seat of his hijacked vehicle, but the robbers dropped him along the road after they drew money from his account. They 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 and 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 with a common purpose.
In a confession made after his arrest, but which he is now disputing, Nkosi said that after hijacking the Jeep, they drove to Tembisa when they saw a white VW Golf along the road.
He said they knew it belonged to Masilela and that he was a Rhythm City actor, as they had often seen him around in his car. “We do not hijack cars of which we know the owners.”
Nkosi said as they were parallel to Masilela’s car, Mukhuba said he must stop, which he did. “Solly jumped out and grabbed a firearm from under the seat. Dumisani was in the driver’s seat and there was a passenger next to him. Solly was walking towards them, he fired one shot directly at the car.”
Nkosi said Solly ran back to the Jeep and they sped away.
The court is now dealing with trials-within-a trial relating to several of the accused who are disputing their so-called confessions, claiming they were forced to make them and were assaulted by the police.