Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

The case against four men accused of the execution-style killing of ANC-connected businessman Wandile Bozwana has been transferred to the high court. The suspects appeared in the Kgosi Mampuru II prison court in Pretoria on Wednesday when magistrate Bheki Ntshingila transferred the case to the High Court in Pretoria.

Sipho Hudla‚ Matamela Motapa‚ Paul Khuma and Vusi Mathibela stand accused of gunning down Bozwana in a car in October 2015. He succumbed to injuries he sustained after he was hit by a hail of bullets. At the time he was travelling with a female companion when his stationary car was ambushed at a traffic light on the Garsfontein off-ramp on the N1 highway.

The hit on Bozwana was widely believed to be connected to his court battle against the North West government.

Three of the suspects were arrested a month after the attack and one in July last year. They were charged with murder and attempted murder. They earlier told the court that they were taxi owners with five children each.

Hudla‚ Motapa and Khuma were denied bail, while Mathibela was granted R50‚000 bail. Mathibela’s bail conditions include having to surrender the title deed to his home (immovable property) in Midrand, and his passport; reporting to the Midrand police station every Friday at some time between 6am and 6pm; and not leaving Gauteng without informing the investigating officer.

His initial bail application was turned down. At the time the state submitted that he had several pending matters of a violent nature. He also did not present immovable assets at the time, which made him a flight risk. He made a second application based on new facts, which led the court to review its previous findings.

On Wednesday, magistrate Mogawambal Naidoo found that he was forthcoming about his personal circumstances. He had a business that continued to operate after his arrest. He has since pledged immovable property worth R4.2m.

Naidoo said Mathibela had a business account that had remained operational for years and that he was economically viable. "He was not forthcoming in the first application where the onus was on him to convince the court. Now some factors have fallen off‚" she said.

TMG Digital

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