Bil­lion­aire’s al­leged mur­der­ers in the dock

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - ZELDA VEN­TER

MORE light is set to be shed on the mys­te­ri­ous Oc­to­ber 2015 mur­der of North West bil­lion­aire Wandile Bozwana in the trial of his four al­leged as­sas­sins in the Pre­to­ria High Court.

Bozwana was killed in a drive-by shoot­ing near the Garst­fontein off-ramp on the N1 high­way.

He had been travelling north, from Joburg, with col­league Mpho Baloyi, who was driv­ing. Baloyi sur­vived the at­tack and is ex­pected to be the State’s key witness in the high-pro­file trial.

The four ac­cused all pleaded not guilty to mur­der and at­tempted mur­der. They are Sipho Patrick Hudla, 34, of Soweto, Matamela Robert Mu­tapa, 40, of Bram­ley, Vusi Regi­nald Mathi­bela, 30, of Midrand, and Bonginkosi Paul Khu­malo, 36, of Joburg.

The State said Bozwana was at Sand­ton City on Oc­to­ber 2, 2015 with his busi­ness associate Baloyi when Hudla, Mu­tapa and Khu­malo ap­par­ently re­ceived word that the pair were at the mall.

They went there with other un­known per­sons to meet up with Mathi­bela.

Mathi­bela pointed out Bozwana to his co-ac­cused. Bozwana was to be killed on in­struc­tion of Mathi­bela for rea­sons yet un­known to the State, the in­dict­ment states.

It was said that the ac­cused and un­known per­sons fol­lowed Bozwana and Baloyi after they left the mall and went to a McDon­ald’s restau­rant in Grayston Drive.

The pair were travelling in a Re­nault Clio driven by Baloyi. The ac­cused are said to have fol­lowed them in at least three dif­fer­ent ve­hi­cles, mon­i­tor­ing their move­ments at the restau­rant un­til they left and trav­elled to­wards Pre­to­ria on the N1 high­way. Bozwana was seated in the pas­sen­ger seat at the time.

Baloyi took the Garst­fontein Road off-ramp where she stopped at a red traf­fic light. The State claimed that while wait­ing for the light to turn green, Hudla and an un­known per­son jumped out of a BMW ve­hi­cle be­hind the pair. They were al­legedly armed.

It is said that Bozwana re­alised what was hap­pen­ing and he leaned over to­wards Baloyi in an at­tempt to pro­tect her.

It is the State’s case that Hudla and the other un­known gun­man opened fire at the sta­tion­ary car.

Both vic­tims suf­fered se­ri­ous gun­shot wounds. The ac­cused al­legedly fled the scene in their var­i­ous ve­hi­cles.

De­spite her wounds, Baloyi man­aged to drive the car from the Garst­fontein off-ramp, down Garst­fontein Road, where she even­tu­ally stopped in front of the Glas­fit busi­ness premises. The po­lice and med­i­cal help were sum­moned.

The pair were taken to the Uni­tas Hospi­tal where they re­ceived emer­gency med­i­cal treat­ment. Bozwana died later that day from bleed­ing due to mul­ti­ple gun­shot wounds.

The State will claim dur­ing the trial that all the ac­cused acted with a com­mon purpose dur­ing the com­mis­sion of the al­leged crime.

A host of wit­nesses are ex­pected to take the stand, in­clud­ing Baloyi. On Mon­day, she started to present her ev­i­dence, with the aid of CCTV footage. The de­fence, how­ever, ob­jected to the footage and dis­puted its au­then­tic­ity. Baloyi’s ev­i­dence was put on hold pend­ing a trial-within-a-trial re­gard­ing the CCTV footage.

PIC­TURE: BONGANI SHILUBANE

HIT SUS­PECTS: The four men ac­cused of killing Wandile Bozwana, in the high court in Pre­to­ria. They are Sipho Hudla, Robert Mu­tapa, Vusi Mathi­bela and Paul Khu­malo.

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