’Mamelodi's No1 Tsotsi’ Vusi ’Khekhe’ Mathibela loses bail bid in Wandile Bozwana murder case
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In yet another desperate bid for freedom, the man dubbed “Mamelodi's Number 1 Tsotsi" Vusi “Khekhe” Mathibela lost his latest application to be released on bail.
He had vowed to submit to house arrest and up his bail amount to R200 000.
His advocate told the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, that Mathibela was not a violent person, and that apart from not being able to generate an income while in jail, his health was also ailing.
Mathibela, who is facing a charge of murder following the death of billionaire businessman Wandile Bozwana, had his R50 000 bail revoked last year after Judge Bert Bam found that he had violated his bail conditions. He also faces the attempted murder charge of Bozwana’s associate Mpho Baloyi.
Mathibela has been detained in prison since. His murder trial, which he faces alongside three co-accused, has been ongoing for years. The State earlier closed its case and the defence is due to present their side soon.
The matter is back in court today to pave the way forward, but indications are that the trial might resume on November 29.
Mathibela has denied any involvement in the assassination of Bozwana, who was gunned down in 2015 as he and Baloyi stopped at a robot at the Garsfontein offramp along the N1 highway in Pretoria.
Last year, Judge Bam ordered that Mathibela’s bail in the Bozwana case be withdrawn after it was found he violated some of the conditions, including that he used his passport to holiday in Mauritius while on bail.
He was on the brink of leaving for a holiday in Dubai when he was arrested at OR Tambo International Airport a year ago.
It also emerged that he had earlier gone on holiday in Mauritius using his passport.
Mathibela said he did hand in his passport to the investigating officer when he was released on bail. He said the officer returned his passport to him when he indicated he wanted to travel abroad.
This was denied by the officer. It is not clear how he got hold of his passport, but the court heard that when he had returned from Mauritius, he kept his passport and locked it in a safety deposit box at a luxury Johannesburg hotel.
He lost his bid for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal, against the withdrawal of his bail as well as his challenge to the constitutionality of the Criminal Procedure Act, which allows courts to revoke the bail of defendants.
He has brought a fresh application for bail on the basis that it will be in the interest of justice that he be released on bail, subject to additional bail conditions to be determined by the court.
“He is a peaceful man, businessman, family man and an ordinary member of society,” the court was told.
It was also argued that the State had a weak case against Mathibela in the Bozwana murder case. This, however, was vehemently denied by the prosecution.
Regarding his health, Mathibela relied on the evidence of a clinical psychologist, that he suffered from depression disorder, post-traumatic stress, and personality disorder. It was said that his medical health could not be treated while in prison.
The State argued that Mathibela’s release would disturb the public order and said people were happy that his “reign of terror” had stopped now that he’s in jail.
Judge M Munzhelele said: “The applicant has all along been attending private medical hospitals by doctors for his health. Therefore, there is nothing new or exceptional about what was proposed by the psychologist.”
The fact that he has a senior defence team indicated that he had money, the judge said.