17 May 2019

South Africa: Mamelodi Taxi Boss to Challenge Section of Act Dealing With Bail Cancellation

Mamelodi taxi boss Vusi "Khekhe" Mathibela is expected to approach the Constitutional Court to challenge a section of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA) that allows the cancellation of bail in an accused's absence.

Mathibela's advocate, Annelene van den Heever, handed up a document to the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Friday, informing the court of the constitutional challenge.

Mathibela is accused of the murder of North West businessman Wandile Bozwana and his bail in the case was provisionally cancelled in March this year.

Since then, the State has brought an application to have his bail permanently rescinded and the R50 000 bail amount forfeited on the basis that he violated his bail conditions.

In the document, seen by News24, Mathibela argues that section 68, subsection 1 of the CPA is unconstitutional and invalid to the extent that it permits the cancellation of bail of an accused person in their absence and thus deprives them of any further right to reconsideration or appeal.

Furthermore, the challenge will also seek an order suspending the effect of section 68 subsection 1 for 18 months to provide Parliament with an opportunity to remedy the unconditionality identified therein.

Mathibela is expected to return to court on June 20 to argue that his bail should be reinstated and that the State's rescission application should be suspended, pending the outcome of the constitutional challenge.

Rescission application

The State accuses Mathibela of violating his bail conditions by not handing over his passport and title deed after he was granted bail in January 2017.

Van den Heever argued that Captain Siphiwe Xulu allowed Mathibela to travel to Mauritius in 2018 and handed the taxi boss his passport, which was returned when he arrived back in South Africa.

But on Wednesday, the High Court heard that the former investigating officer in the Bozwana matter denied handing over a passport belonging Mathibela.

During cross-examination, Xulu denied that he was ever given Mathibela's passport and title deed.

He said that he checked his diary and there were no entries made to show that he ever received the two documents.

However, Van den Heever poked holes in his diary argument, presenting evidence that Xulu had visited Mathibela's house three times in 2018 but none of the visits were jotted down in his diary.

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.

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.

Bozwana murder

Mathibela is one of four men accused of Bozwana's murder. The construction and property mogul was killed in a suspected hit in 2016.

The Bozwana murder trial is expected to continue in July.

Mathibela's arrest in March was related to allegations of intimidation and extortion as well as the terrorising of taxi drivers, businesses and spaza shop owners in Mamelodi.

Source: <b>News24</b>

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