Bozwana shielded lover from hail of bul­lets

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - ZELDA VENTER

MPHO Baloyi, busi­ness part­ner and lover of slain North West bil­lion­aire Wandile Bozwana, told the high court in Pre­to­ria yes­ter­day how she heard sev­eral shots as they stopped their car at the Gars­fontein off-ramp in Oc­to­ber 2015.

But she could not see where the shots had come from or who had fired them. Baloyi was se­verely in­jured when about 12 shots were fired at them.

Bozwana, who was in the pas­sen­ger seat of the car, died a few hours later at the Uni­tas Hospi­tal in Pre­to­ria. He had tried to shield her from the spray of bul­lets, cov­er­ing her body with his.

The four ac­cused of the mur­der and at­tempted mur­der this week pleaded not guilty to the charges. They said they knew noth­ing about the in­ci­dent. 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 have been ac­cused of the mur­der.

Baloyi tes­ti­fied she and Bozwana had been lovers from 2013 and had spent the evening be­fore the in­ci­dent to­gether.

She said the next morn­ing, they went to Sand­ton City to a tai­lor and hair sa­lon and had lunch at McDon­ald’s in Grayston Drive, where she re­ceived a call from her fi­nan­cial di­rec­tor that the track­ing de­vice on her car had been dis­abled.

Baloyi said she checked it but could not see any­thing wrong.

The cou­ple then headed to Pre­to­ria along the N1 to go to a car deal­er­ship at Men­lyn.

Baloyi said as they stopped at a red traf­fic light at the Gars­fontein off-ramp, she and Bozwana no­ticed a sil­ver BMW sports car be­hind them. They com­mented on how nice the car was just be­fore she saw a man open­ing the back door of the ve­hi­cle.

She had paid no at­ten­tion to that, and the next mo­ment she heard sounds, fol­lowed by the fir­ing of bul­lets.

Bozwana, who was try­ing to shield her, was left slumped be­tween her seat and the pas­sen­ger seat and although she was also in­jured, she man­aged to speed away.

She drove reck­lessly with her haz­ards on while hoot­ing all the time. The sil­ver BMW also drove reck­lessly be­hind her and over­took her at some stage.

She turned off into busi­ness premises along Gars­fontein Road to get help as the BMW sped past.

Baloyi ad­mit­ted that she never saw who was shoot­ing at them or from where the bul­lets had come.

Adri­aan Stander, an em­ployee at an en­gi­neer­ing busi­ness close to the off-ramp, tes­ti­fied that he was hav­ing a cig­a­rette on the ter­race of the of­fice block where he worked, when he heard be­tween 10 and 12 shots be­ing fired.

He could see a per­son get­ting out of a sil­ver BMW and fir­ing shots in rapid suc­ces­sion. The per­son re­treated while fir­ing and got back into the car. He could, how­ever, not iden­tify the as­sailant.

Stander said he did not think much of the in­ci­dent as he thought it was a road-rage in­ci­dent and that some­one fired at the tyres of an­other car.

It was only af­ter an of­fi­cial from the Hawks came to his of­fice to en­quire whether he knew any­thing about the in­ci­dent that he learnt what had hap­pened.

It emerged on CCTV footage in the area that he was stand­ing on the pa­tio that af­ter­noon and this prompted the Hawks to ques­tion him.

The State claimed the ac­cused, and other peo­ple who have not been iden­ti­fied, fol­lowed the cou­ple at Sand­ton City. Mathi­bela was said to have pointed Bozwana out to his co-ac­cused while they were at the mall.

Mathi­bela, through his ad­vo­cate, ad­mit­ted he knew Bozwana and said they of­ten lunched to­gether at Rhap­sody’s res­tau­rant in Cen­tu­rion.

Bozwana was at the time of his death em­broiled in le­gal pro­ceed­ings with the North West prov­ince re­gard­ing the al­lo­ca­tion of ten­ders.

SLAIN: Wandile Bozwana

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