The prosecution aimed at linking Mathibela, Sipho Hudla, Robert Mutapa and Bonginkosi Paul Khumalo to the murder of the billionaire businessman and the attempted murder of his business associate Mpho Baloyi.
LEGAL arguments started on Monday in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, where Vusi “Khekhe” Mathibela and his three co-accused are on trial for the 2016 murder of billionaire businessman, Wandile Bozwana.
The marathon trial started in 2018 in the high court with the State presenting the evidence of numerous witnesses and experts over the years.
The defence’s case lasted for a short duration as none of the accused opted to take the witness stand.
Much was made of expert witnesses which the defence at first said it would consult with the aim of calling them to the witness stand, but nothing came of this.
Bozwana died in a hail of bullets in October 2016 and while there was a lot of speculation as to why he was assassinated, nothing of this was mentioned during the trial.
The prosecution aimed at linking Mathibela, Sipho Hudla, Robert Mutapa and Bonginkosi Paul Khumalo to Bozwana’s murder and the attempted murder of his business associate Mpho Baloyi.
This was done through cellphone records, “confessions” made by some accused, as well as video footage taken at Sandton City a few hours before Bozwana was killed.
It is claimed that the accused had followed Bozwana and Baloyi that morning at the mall and later to a McDonald’s outlet before the pair headed for Pretoria along the N1.
They were shot at when the car which Baloyi was driving stopped at a traffic light at the Garsfontein Road offramp.
Defence advocate Anneline van den Heever yesterday argued that the prosecution had nothing on which to convict the accused. She said the case relied heavily on the cellphone expert, who testified that the devices of some of the accused were detected in the vicinity of the crime scene.
Van den Heever said even the cellphone expert had conceded that the records used to map a person’s movements via cellphone were not always accurate. Some cellphone towers do not pick up certain signals and there were many variables such as weather conditions on that day, she told Judge Papi Mosopa.
The CCTV footage which the prosecution said depicted some of the accused on the morning of the shooting following Bozwana in the mall, was of no value, Van den Heever said. It was simply impossible to identify anyone on the footage, she said.
While some of the accused made “confessions”, claiming that they received instructions and payment from Mathibela to kill Bozwana, Van den Heever said the accused were tortured into making these “false” claims.
Prosecutor Jennifer Cronje is due to present her arguments, but last year when the four asked for their acquittal at the end of the State’s case, she argued that all the fingers pointed at the accused.
Judge Mosopa at the time said the accused, on the evidence thus far, had a case to answer.