Cops assaulted my wife while looking for me, says Khekhe
Crime suspect Vusi Mathibela - dubbed Mamelodi's No1 Tsotsi - has claimed his wife was assaulted by police who ransacked his home days before the feared taxi owner was arrested.
Mathibela made the claim in the North Gauteng High Court where he is challenging the lawfulness of his arrest in connection with extortion charges.
His lawyer, Anneline van den Heever, read out Mathibela's affidavit in which he claims his wife was assaulted and arrested as the police attempted to track him down.
"On the Friday [March 8] that the applicant's co-accused were arrested, the police also went to the his house to look for him.
"They didn't find him and they then arrested his wife for nothing and took her to Midrand police station," Van den Heever said.
Mathibela - along with Elias Skhosana, 41, and Stemmer Monageng, 51 - are facing charges of extortion, intimidation and assault after the trio allegedly ran an extortion ring in Mamelodi.
They are accused of forcing local shop owners and taxi drivers to pay them "protection" fees to operate in the township, east of Pretoria.
Skhosana and Monageng were granted bail of R25,000 each while Mathibela abandoned his bail application and challenged his arrest.
Mathibela also plans to interdict the police from harassing him and his family.
He argued that his arrest was unlawful.
"The applicant [Mathibela] read in an article in SowetanLive that he was being sought because there was a warrant issued against his name after the arrests of his two co-accused in the matter on March 8," Van den Heever said.
According to Mathibela's affidavit, he called his legal representative, advocate Solomon Mkhabela, to confirm whether he had heard about the warrant.
"Advocate Mkhabela then met with the applicant at Germiston police station with one of the investigating officers to find out the basis of the warrant," he said.
Van den Heever further argued police could not produce the warrant and docket on which the charges were based.
"Advocate Mkhabela was then made to wait like a fool at the police station while the police took the applicant on a 'road trip' where he was assaulted in the process."
Mathibela was taken to his Midrand home and the police searched it. They also took him to the Mamelodi Amalgamated Taxi Association's offices and his parents' home in Mamelodi where they continued with their search for evidence linking him to the charges.
Judge Cassim Sardiwalla reserved judgment on the application until this week.
Mathibela was arrested after police minister Bheki Cele held meetings with the community in which they raised concerns about Mathibela's alleged reign of terror.