Cop denies giving passport back to taxi boss to travel abroad while on bail
The investigating officer in the murder case of businessman Wandile Bozwana has denied handing over a passport, belonging to one of the accused, taxi boss Vusi "Khekhe" Mathibela, so that he could travel abroad.
The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria is hearing an application by the State to have Mathibela’s bail rescinded and the R50 000 bail amount forfeited, accusing him of violating his bail conditions.
Among the alleged bail violations, Mathibela is said to have not handed over his passport and title deed to his property as per the bail stipulations.
Mathibela was granted bail in January 2017.
On Tuesday, Mathibela’s advocate, Annelene van den Heever argued that her client handed over his passport and title deed to Captain Siphiwe Xulu following the bail ruling.
Van Den Heever argued that Xulu allowed Mathibela to travel to Mauritius in 2018 and handed the taxi boss his passport, which was returned when Mathibela arrived back in South Africa.
Mathibela was re-arrested in March, while preparing to go on holiday to Dubai. His arrest was not linked to Bozwana's murder, but to a string of different allegations.
During cross-examination, Xulu denied that he was ever given Mathibela’s passport and title deed, saying that he checked his diary, and there was no entries of ever receiving the two documents.
“For all the important documents I receive, I sign for it [in the diary] and make the person who is handing it over sign as well,” Xulu told the court.
Van den Heever told the court that Xulu had the title deed when he confirmed Mathibela’s address and that the court transcript of the bail application reflected that the title deed was handed over.
She added that Xulu would have not learned about the description of the property without the title deed.
“As I have already indicated, he never gave me the title deed,” Xulu told the court.
Mathibela’s legal team then produced the gate records of the complex he lives at, showing that Xulu visited him three times in 2018.
Upon reflecting on his diary, Xulu noted that on the first visit on January 6 at 20:10 where he is recorded as going through the complex entrance to visit Mathibela, his diary only notes that he was doing an investigation.
For the second visit on February 3 at 15:32, there was no entry in the diary and for the third visit on December 21 at 10:19, the diary reflected that he travelled to Johannesburg, Roodepoort and Midrand.
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Xulu conceded that he had indeed visited the complex, but said it was a big estate and he may have gone there, but not to visit Mathibela.
However, the gate records showed that he specifically went to visit Mathibela, even punching in his house number at the entrance to gain access to the complex.
While admitting that he had no reason to visit Mathibela, Xulu kept saying “I cannot recall,” or “I don’t remember” when asked why he went to visit the accused.
Xulu, who was subpoenaed to appear in court, was then excused, but told that he may be called back for further cross examination.
Mathibela is one of four men facing trial for Bozwana's murder. The North West construction and property mogul was killed in a suspected hit in 2016.
His arrest in March was related to allegations of intimidation and extortion, terrorising taxi drivers, businesses and spaza shop owners in Mamelodi.
The State's application to have his bail revoked in the Bozwana matter has been postponed to Friday, May 17.