Dust Lives trial draws to emotional close

Estelle Ellis

THE two-year-long trial of two Dust Lives gang members accused of gunning down a rival gangster, the attempted murder of a state witness and the killing of a child in gang crossfire, came to an emotional end in the Port Elizabeth High Court yesterday (12/11/2012).

The youngest victim’s relatives burst into tears as Jeremy “Oubaas” King, 29, and Clayton “Big Show” Francis, 19 were found guilty by Judge Phakamisa Tshiki of the murder of Patrick “Muggie” Cornelius and the 12 year old Hubert Mejane.

King had shot Cornelius in the back in January 2010. The court heard that Cornelius was suspected of having stabbed one of King’s friends.

The court heard that a few weeks later Hensley Smith, who was a witness in Cornelius’s murder case and another case, was shot in the leg in Kobus Road, Gelvandale.

The court heard that King and Francis had whitened their faces with calamine lotion before attacking Smith. Witnesses saw Francis hand the gun to King before the attack.

In this attack Hubert Mejane, a 12-year-old boy who was hiding behind a shop door at the time, was killed when he tried to see what was going on.

Mejane’s two sisters, Kim and Stefanie Witbooi, and his mother Pherene Witbooi burst into tears after the verdict.

Both King and Francis denied they were involved in the attacks and claimed that evidence was concocted against them, claiming that witnesses were bribed to falsely implicate rival gang members.

King was identified by most witnesses for being “the one without the teeth”. His previous convictions include the possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition, assault and the possession of dagga.

Francis has no previous convictions. The case was postponed to December 10 for a pre-sentence report as Francis was still a minor when the crimes were committed.

Both remain in custody.

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