Mamelodi taxi boss Vusi Mathibela, popularly known as Vusi Khekhe, has been found guilty of being the mastermind behind the murder of North West businessman Wandile Bozwana.
The Pretoria High Court on Thursday convicted Mathibela – dubbed Mamelodi’s “Number 1 Tsotsi [criminal]” – and three co-accused on charges of premeditated murder, attempted murder, possession of a firearm, and possession of ammunition.
The 36-year-old’s co-accused are Sipho Patrick Hudla, 40, Matamela Robert Mutapa, 46, and Bonginkosi Paul Khumalo, 42.
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The four men were convicted for Bozwana’s 2015 murder after state prosecutor, advocate Jennifer Cronje, presented evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the group had a common purpose in killing the businessman.
The group pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.
Bozwana killed in hail of bullets
Bozwana died in hospital after he and his business associate, Betty Mpho Baloyi, were shot in a hail of bullets on the N1 highway in Pretoria on 2 October 2015.
According to the state, Hudla, Mutapa, and Khumalo followed the pair from Sandton, Johannesburg to Pretoria on instruction by Mathibela.
When Bozwana and Baloyi were leaving Sandton to drive back to Pretoria, they were using Baloyi’s car and she was driving.
The three men then continued to follow them in a BMW vehicle, until Bozwana and Baloyi reached the Garsfontein off-ramp when the traffic lights turned red.
“The three men got out of the BMW car they were driving and started shooting at Baloyi’s car and fled the scene.
“Both the deceased and Baloyi were shot, however, Baloyi managed to drive until she stopped at Garsfontein road when police and emergency services arrived.
“Bozwana and Baloyi were taken to the nearest hospital, where he later died due to multiple gunshot wounds,” said NPA regional spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana in a statement.
Mahanjana said all four men were arrested on different dates between 2015 and 2016.
Three of them had been in custody since their arrest, however, Mathibela was granted R50 000 bail in December 2016 after he handed himself over at the Brooklyn police station in Pretoria in January 2016.
“He was then rearrested in 2019 after he violated his bail conditions, which were revoked, and his bail money was forfeited to the state and has been in custody since,” Mahanjana said.
The matter was postponed to 4 August 2022 for sentencing proceedings.
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