Alleged Westbury shooter looks like 'a regular guy'

2015-03-02 23:09
(File: Sapa)

(File: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The family of slain Westbury toddler Luke Tibbetts said on Monday that the man accused of killing him "looked like a regular guy".

Speaking to reporters outside the high court sitting in Palm Ridge, Tibbetts's uncle Llewellyn Valentine said he could have passed Lindrey Khakhu on the streets of Westbury and would have never suspected him to be his nephew's shooter.

"The way he was dressed... he was so clean shaven. It makes me wonder how he can do something like that," Valentine said.

He said he was very emotional to come face to face with his nephew's alleged killer.

Tibbetts's mother, Candice, did not have the strength to come to court.

Valentine said she was being treated for depression.

"This morning she texted and said she needed to be taken to hospital," said Valentine.

"She doesn't want to be in the public eye. It's like reliving the whole thing," he said.

Valentine said the outcome of the case would not change anything.

"It won't bring Luke back."

Khakhu, who is in his mid-20s, is on trial for Tibbetts's murder and on 17 other charges, including several of murder, attempted murder, pointing a firearm and illegal possession of a firearm.

According to court documents, Khakhu had been in a brawl with Keenan Mokwena on 2 August 2014.

Mokwena pointed a firearm at Khakhu and then drove off.

Khakhu was alleged to have fired about shots at the vehicle as it drove off.

A bullet hit 3-year-old Tibbetts who had been in sitting on his mother's lap in another vehicle.

Tibbetts died six days later, while Mokwena escaped with injuries.

As Khakhu's trial started on Monday, he pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Dressed in a blue shirt and brown pants, he listened carefully as Andre Mooi, the first witness in his trial, took to the stand.

With shackles on his feet, Mooi waddled his way in and out of the witness box. He was in prison for car theft.

‘Dirty look’

Mooi testified that Khakhu shot at him and his friend Ronald Plaatjies on 5 January 2013.

The two of them had been outside Mooi's girlfriend's house when Khakhu walked past them.

Mooi testified that Khakhu gave him a "dirty look" and he asked him what his problem was.

Khakhu walked a few steps, took out his firearm, and shot at them, said Mooi.

He and his friend escaped unharmed. They opened a case at the local police station.

The court heard that Khakhu had shot dead Mooi's brother Alton five months after he had allegedly fired shots at Mooi and Plaatjies.

Khakhu would also be tried for Alton Mooi's murder.

Under cross-examination by prosecutor Deon van Wyk, Mooi denied having an ulterior motive for testifying against Khakhu.

"This [the shooting] happened five months before he killed my brother," said Mooi.

Van Wyk questioned whether Mooi was fabricating evidence, as he could not understand how he could remember what Khakhu had been wearing on the night he allegedly shot at them, but could not recall what his friend Plaatjies had been wearing.

Plaatjies also took the stand on Monday. Speaking in Afrikaans, he relayed to the court what transpired on the day Khakhu allegedly shot at him and his friend.

He testified that Khakhu had given Mooi a "vuil kyk" (dirty look).

Asked what that meant, Mooi said it looked as if he wanted to fight.

The trial was postponed to Wednesday as two other witnesses were not immediately available.


Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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