Bozwana killers slapped with 30 years direct imprisonment

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By Dimakatso Modipa

Mamelodi taxi boss Vusi Khekhe Mathibela sentence to 30 years direct imprisonment by the Pretoria High court
Mamelodi taxi boss Vusi Khekhe Mathibela sentence to 30 years direct imprisonment by the Pretoria High court

The Pretoria High Court sentenced a Mamelodi taxi boss, Vusi Reginald Mathibela (37), known as Vusi Khekhe, Sipho Patrick Hudla (41), Matamela Robert Mutapa (47) and Bonginkosi Paul Khumalo (43), to 30 years direct imprisonment for premeditated murder of a businessman Wandile Bozwana.

They were sentenced on 26 January 2024.

The four men were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for attempted murder, 6 years imprisonment for possession of a firearm and 2 years imprisonment for possession of ammunition.

The court ordered that the sentence should run concurrently with that of 30 years.

The sentencing of Mamelodi taxi boss has divided the people of Mamelodi. Some taxi drivers were very disappointed after hearing the news while some are celebrating.

NPA Regional spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana said on 02 October 2015, Hudla, Mutapa, and Khumala, followed the deceased who was at Sandton, Mandela Square in Johannesburg with his business associate Betty Mpho Baloyi, on instruction by Mathibela.

When the deceased and Baloyi were leaving Sandton to drive back to Pretoria, they were using Baloyi’s car, and she was driving.

“The three men continued to follow them until they reached the Garsfontein off-ramp, and the traffic lights were red.

The three men got out of the BMW car they were driving started shooting at Baloyi’s car and fled the scene,” Mahanjana said.

She said both the deceased and Baloyi were shot, however, Baloyi managed to drive until she stopped at Garsfontein Road when police and emergency services arrived.

Bozwana and Baloyi were taken to the nearest hospital, where he later died due to multiple gunshot wounds.

All four men were arrested on different dates, between 2015 and 2016, three of the four men have been in custody since their arrest, however, Mathibela was granted R50 000 bail in December 2016, after he handed himself over at the Brooklyn police station, in January 2016.

He was then rearrested in 2019 after he violated his bail conditions, which were revoked and his bail money was forfeited to the state and has been in custody since.

In court, all four men pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.

However, Adv. Jennifer Cronje was able to present evidence to prove the guilt of the four men beyond reasonable doubt and that all four men had a common purpose in killing the deceased and were convicted on 22 June 2022.

During the sentencing proceedings, the four asked the court to deviate from imposing the prescribed minimum sentence of life imprisonment, because of the amount of time they have already spent awaiting the finalization of the trial since their arrest in 2015 and 2016.

However, Adv. Cronje argued that time spent in detention was no one’s fault and that the court should take into consideration the personal circumstances of the family of the deceased because they lost a breadwinner.

Furthermore, she asked the court to impose a sentence of life imprisonment. During the testimony of the brother of the deceased in aggravation of sentence, he told the court that not only did his family suffer because of the passing of his brother, but the community also suffered because the deceased provided employment for them.

When handing down the sentence the judge said, he found that there were substantial and compelling circumstances to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence because the four had spent a long time in custody since their arrest and were kept in solitary confinement since their conviction.

Therefore, the sentence given was appropriate.

The Director of Public Prosecution, Adv. Mzinyathi welcomes the sentence and praises the outstanding work of the prosecutor and the investigating officer Sergeant Evans Butso Mongwe who started investigating the matter after the incident in 2015.

National Commissioner of the South African Police Service General Fanie Masemola has praised the SAPS National Cold Case Unit and Gauteng detectives.

“The team worked hard to build a strong case that was able to stand in court.

We hope that this conviction and sentencing will bring closure to the families of the victims involved,” General Masemola said.

He said we hope this sentencing will serve as a deterrent and a lesson, that the long arm of the law will not be kind nor will it be selective to those who are found on the wrong side of the law.

Taxi driver who did not want to be name said we know he did wrong and he must pay but at the taxi industry he will be greatly missed for fighting for our rights as drivers.

He would solve our taxi problems easy and the way Metro cops impound our taxis and demand money and if he was around none of those things would have never happened.

Another taxi driver said this man has killed many taxi drivers and many families today are left without their breadwinner because of him.

“Let him rot in jail and we thanked the Judge for the sentencing and we believe those drivers he killed their family has found closure too,” he said.

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