On Thursday March 14 Vusi “Khekhe” Mathibela appeared in the Pretoria magistrate court on charges of extortion, fraud and assault. Wearing a black hoodie and black frame glasses, Mathibela looked rather surprised at the number of media and people who came to his first court appearance since he handed himself to the police on March 13.
The notorious and highly feared Vusi instructed his legal representatives to file an affidavit against the alleged assault and humiliation he endured at the hands of the police after he had handed himself, after a warrant for his arrest was issued. Eye witnesses claim Vusi was shoved around with handcuffs and barefoot in witness of members of the community of Mamelodi. During court proceeding Mathibela alleged he was assaulted by multiple police and the tactical response team.
Apperantly Vusi Khekhe was also taken to the Mamelodi Long Distance Taxi Association on Wednesday and the offices were ransacked in search of evidence linking Makhubela to the charges. While Mathibela was accompanied by his legal representative when handing himself over to the police, he claimed that he was never issued with the warrant of arrest. In an affidavit read by his lawyer, Anneline van den Heever, Mathibela further stated that he was assaulted by police. She requested that the court grant her application to find the arrest unlawful and to immediately release him.
“At the time of my arrest which was, as already stated, effected in the presence of my attorney … I was not given reasons and/or particularity for the arrest and/or the offence that I allegedly committed. I have been advised, which advice I accepted, that in terms of the provisions of … the constitution, I have the right to be informed promptly of the reasons for my detention. This has not happened.”
Prosecutor Lizo Tshomela conceded that Mathibela was not arrested in terms of an arrest warrant, but said there was good reason for this. Tshomela added that section 40 of the Criminal Procedure Act made provision for an arrest. According to Tshomela, the taxi boss gave an undertaking that he would appear in court on Monday with two of his closest associates, who had been arrested over the weekend. However, he dishonoured that agreement, said Tshomela.
The court heard that Mathibela had been hunted since Monday and investigators tried to track him down until he handed himself over on Wednesday. “The accused has been lawfully arrested and detained,” Tshomela told the court.
Magistrate Mali Mokoena dismissed Mathibela’s application. The case was posponed to Friday March 15, where Vusi Mathibela is to appear alongside co-accused, Elias Skhosana and Stemer Monageng .
BY: DAVE BALO