Billionaire’s alleged murderers in the dock
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.
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.