Vusi ‘Khekhe’ Mathibela was granted bail after immediate application declaring his arrest was unlawful.
Vusi “Khekhe” Mathibela and his co-accused, Elias Skhosana and Stemer Monageng’s Attorney yesterday said the charges laid against them must be dropped as what they were accused of was declared inconsistent. They appeared in Pretoria Magistrate Court on Friday, 22 March for an ongoing bail hearing and his application was accepted by the court. They are accused of extorting money and intimidating businesses and taxi owners in Mamelodi. According to the charge sheet, read by the state prosecutor earlier this week, the three of them are facing schedule five charges as the amount they allegedly extorted was just over R600 000. On the other hand, the investigation officer, testified on the same day that the accused actually demanded millions in exchange to protect the development of Denneboom Mall in Mamelodi West.
“I’d say millions. They were demanding R2 million a month for protecting the project. They also wanted another 30% [of the contract] which we haven’t calculated yet”, said the investigative officer, Vongani Shihangule.
He added that witnesses have also accused Monageng of getting contracts for his security company through intimidation. It is suspected that more money than the allocated amount will be lost on the project due to such circumstances. More people are expected to come forth with evidence against the other suspect, Skhosana. He was urged not to go anywhere near malls or people at the moment until further notice. Officer Shihangule opposed bail of the two accused, stating that witnesses still felt intimidated while the extorted deals were still standing. However Mathibela, known as “Number 1 Tsotsi”, had abandoned bail, as an urgent application to regard his arrest unlawful was accepted by the High Court in Pretoria yesterday. According to his defense, his arrest was unlawful as the arrest warrant against him was not presented when he handed himself over. The court was to decide on a date for the urgent application. Mathibela is now on bail.
By: Fortunate Machaba