Vusi 'Khekhe' Mathibela's co-accused appear for bail ruling
Pretoria - The Pretoria Magistrate's Court is on Monday expected to make a ruling on the bail application made by two men businessmen accused of working with Mamelodi's alleged number one tsotsi, Vusi "Khekhe" Mathibela.
Elias Skhosana and Stemer Monageng will once again walk into the courtroom to a gallery of heavily armed police officers, families and friends. However, this time they’ll be hoping it’s for the last time they are brought in from court holding cells.
They were accused of working with Mathibela to extort and intimidate Mamelodi business people and taxi operators to pay protection fees for a while. The allegation was brought to the attention of Police Minister Bheki Cele in February and he promised to bust all those involved and put an end to the alleged collections.
The defence fought the National Prosecuting Authority over "acknowledged" sluggish efforts and poor communication that led to a delayed bail hearing since their clients were arrested in March 8.
They made arguments for bail to be granted to their clients last Monday but were disappointed that they needed to wait until last Friday to hear the State's arguments due the magistrate’s limited availability which the State did not communicated to them prior to proceedings.
However, after arguing that their clients intended to deny allegations levelled against them and were willing to place their millions worth property as security for bail, they'll be hoping the court rules in their favour.
Skhosana and Monageng also submitted affidavits stating that they had dependents, employees and businesses that depended on them and were being prejudiced unfairly each day they remained in police custody.
They informed the court that there was no evidence that their release would be a threat to the Mamelodi community and their own lives for that matter. They encouraged the court to presume them innocent until proven guilty, as per the constitution of the republic.
However, the State argued strongly that the Skhosana and Monageng initially mislead the court claiming that their rights were violated and they were assaulted in police custody and such suspects should not be granted bail.
The State told the court that the two were considered a threat to people working in some malls and even forced one security company out of the Dennelboom Mall to put Monageng's security company for an even higher bill.
The prosecutor argued that the two had been intimidating and threatening several malls and the State was even in possession of court documents showing that one mall obtained an interdict ordering Skhosana to stay away from its premises and employees.
Meanwhile, their co-accused Mathibela, temporarily abandoned bail in order to challenge the legality of his arrest at the high court.
His lawyer Anneline van den Heever submitted an urgent application to the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, on Friday and will receive a date for a hearing.