Khekhe's trial postponed to 2020 after witness fails to appear

Vusi Mathibela
Vusi Mathibela
Image: Thulani Mbele

Mamelodi’s feared taxi boss Vusi “Khekhe” Mathibela will have to wait until 2020 to hear his fate in the trial-within-a-trial in connection with the murder of North West businessman Wandile Bozwana. 

Sipho Patrick Hudla, 36, and Matamela Robert Mutapa, 42, claimed that they were assaulted during their arrests and tortured into confessing that they were behind Bozwana's murder.

Mathibela, 32, Hudla, Mutapa and Bonginkosi Paul Khumalo, 38, are accused of Bozwana's murder and the attempted murder of his business partner Mpho Baloyi in October 2015.

The four appeared in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria in a trial-within-a-trial to establish whether Hudla and Mutapa were tortured into confessing to the murder of Bozwana.

The trial further aims to establish whether Khumalo was also tortured into making a warning statement.

The matter was postponed due to the state being unprepared for court proceedings.A nurse who observed the injuries sustained by Hudla and Mutapa was expected to take the stand and testify on what she saw. However, the nurse was absent from court. 

Judge Bert Bam postponed the matter until January 14 for the state to call its witnesses and for the closing arguments in the trial-within-a-trial. 

Meanwhile, Mathibela’s legal woes are set to worsen as he is set to face additional extortion charges. 

Sowetan has learnt that police have already submitted a docket to the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) for a decision.

Gauteng detectives have expanded their investigation into how Mathibela had allegedly taken over the finances of the Mamelodi Amalgamated Taxi Association (Mata) for his benefit.

Mathibela had allegedly used executives aligned to himself within Mata for his elaborate extortion ring, with taxi operators under the association having their weekly fees increased, with the money making its way to Mathibela.

Mathibela has been in custody since March after he was arrested on charges of assault, extortion and intimidation following allegations he ran an extortion ring in Mamelodi, east of Pretoria. His R50,000 bail in the Bozwana murder case was also revoked.

On October 21, Mathibela will also appear in the Pretoria regional court on two separate cases - one for extortion and assault and another for allegedly intimidating witnesses in the murder case of Bozwana

It is expected that the additional charges will be pressed against him on that day.

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