Third sus­pect ap­pears in court for as­sas­si­na­tion of ad­vo­cate Mi­ha­lik

The Mercury - - METRO - |

A THIRD sus­pect in the as­sas­si­na­tion of crim­i­nal de­fence lawyer Pete Mi­ha­lik ap­peared in the Cape Town Mag­is­trate’s Court yes­ter­day.

Vuy­ile Mal­iti, 35, joined Sizwe Biyela, 26, and Nkosi­nathi Khu­malo, 31, in the dock. They face charges of mur­der, at­tempted mur­der and the un­law­ful pos­ses­sion of a firearm and am­mu­ni­tion.

Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity spokesper­son Eric Ntabazalila said Mal­iti, who turned him­self over to po­lice on Wed­nes­day, is from Kuils River in Cape Town.

He said the other two ac­cused, who hailed from KwaZulu-Natal, re­quired a Zulu in­ter­preter dur­ing court pro­ceed­ings.

Mal­iti was de­scribed as “self-em­ployed” in the charge sheet.

Mag­is­trate Greg Ja­cobs granted state pros­e­cu­tor He­lene Booy­sen’s re­quest to hold the three sus­pects in sep­a­rate pris­ons for their own safety, “based on in­for­ma­tion from the in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer”.

Biyela will be held at the Malmes­bury Prison, Khu­malo at Al­lan­dale Prison and Mal­iti at Drak­en­stein Prison.

Mal­iti was rep­re­sented by Jan­nie Kruger, a lawyer from Jo­han­nes­burg, Biyela has made use of le­gal aid and Khu­malo, who told the court he had been un­able to get hold of a lawyer, was granted an­other week to ap­point one.

The first two sus­pects were ar­rested last Tues­day shortly af­ter the mur­der of Mi­ha­lik, 50, who was shot in the head at point-blank range while in his car as he was about to drop off his two chil­dren at their pri­vate school, Red­dam House, in Green Point.

Mi­ha­lik’s 8-year-old son sus­tained a gun­shot wound to the jaw and was rushed to hos­pi­tal, where he is re­cov­er­ing. The ad­vo­cate’s daugh­ter, 17, who was in the back seat, was not in­jured.

The gun­man fired through the driver’s win­dow of Mi­ha­lik’s MercedesBenz. Peo­ple liv­ing in the vicin­ity re­ported hear­ing two gun­shots.

The State al­leges that the mur­der “was com­mit­ted by a per­son, group of per­sons or syn­di­cate act­ing in the ex­e­cu­tion or fur­ther­ance of a com­mon pur­pose or con­spir­acy”.

In the at­tempted mur­der charge, the State al­leged that the ac­cused in­ten­tion­ally at­tempted to kill Mi­ha­lik’s son by “shoot­ing him in the face/ head with a firearm and thereby in­flict­ing se­ri­ous and po­ten­tially life-threat­en­ing in­juries”.

The third and fourth charges re­late to the al­leged pos­ses­sion of an un­li­censed 9mm firearm and am­mu­ni­tion.

There has been much spec­u­la­tion about the mur­der, with one news­pa­per re­port­ing that a R1 mil­lion hit on Mi­ha­lik was or­dered from a jail cell.

Three years ago Mi­ha­lik, who rep­re­sented sev­eral peo­ple sus­pected to be un­der­world fig­ures, lost his wife, who was suf­fer­ing from de­pres­sion, to sui­cide.

The case has been post­poned to No­vem­ber 15.

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