Bozwana shielded lover from hail of bullets

By Zelda Venter Time of article published Jun 29, 2017

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Mpho Baloyi, business partner and lover of slain North West billionaire Wandile Bozwana, told the high court in Pretoria yesterday how she heard several shots as they stopped their car at the Garsfontein off-ramp in October 2015.

But she could not see where the shots had come from or who had fired them. Baloyi was severely injured when about 12 shots were fired at them.

Bozwana, who was in the passenger seat of the car, died a few hours later at the Unitas Hospital in Pretoria. He had tried to shield her from the spray of bullets, covering her body with his.

The four accused of the murder and attempted murder this week pleaded not guilty to the charges. They said they knew nothing about the incident. Sipho Patrick Hudla, 34, of Soweto, Matamela Robert Mutapa, 40, of Bramley, Vusi Reginald Mathibela, 30, of Midrand and Bonginkosi Paul Khumalo, 36, of Joburg have been accused of the murder.

Baloyi testified she and Bozwana had been lovers from 2013 and had spent the evening before the incident together.

She said the next morning, they went to Sandton City to a tailor and hair salon and had lunch at McDonald’s in Grayston Drive, where she received a call from her financial director that the tracking device on her car had been disabled.

Baloyi said she checked it but could not see anything wrong.

The couple then headed to Pretoria along the N1 to go to a car dealership at Menlyn.

Baloyi said as they stopped at a red traffic light at the Garsfontein off-ramp, she and Bozwana noticed a silver BMW sports car behind them. They commented on how nice the car was just before she saw a man opening the back door of the vehicle.

She had paid no attention to that, and the next moment she heard sounds, followed by the firing of bullets.

Bozwana, who was trying to shield her, was left slumped between her seat and the passenger seat and although she was also injured, she managed to speed away.

She drove recklessly with her hazards on while hooting all the time. The silver BMW also drove recklessly behind her and overtook her at some stage.

She turned off into business premises along Garsfontein Road to get help as the BMW sped past.

Baloyi admitted that she never saw who was shooting at them or from where the bullets had come.

Adriaan Stander, an employee at an engineering business close to the off-ramp, testified that he was having a cigarette on the terrace of the office block where he worked, when he heard between 10 and 12 shots being fired.

He could see a person getting out of a silver BMW and firing shots in rapid succession. The person retreated while firing and got back into the car. He could, however, not identify the assailant.

Stander said he did not think much of the incident as he thought it was a road-rage incident and that someone fired at the tyres of another car.

It was only after an official from the Hawks came to his office to enquire whether he knew anything about the incident that he learnt what had happened.

It emerged on CCTV footage in the area that he was standing on the patio that afternoon and this prompted the Hawks to question him.

The State claimed the accused, and other people who have not been identified, followed the couple at Sandton City. Mathibela was said to have pointed Bozwana out to his co-accused while they were at the mall.

Mathibela, through his advocate, admitted he knew Bozwana and said they often lunched together at Rhapsody’s restaurant in Centurion.

Bozwana was at the time of his death embroiled in legal proceedings with the North West province regarding the allocation of tenders.

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