Third suspect appears in court for assassination of advocate Mihalik
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.