Zuma's nephew denies involvement with taxi association

2015-09-30 22:13
(Amanda Khoza, News24)

(Amanda Khoza, News24)

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Durban – President Jacob Zuma’s nephew, taxi boss Mfundo Gcaba on Wednesday denied having anything to do with the Sonke Long Distance Taxi Association.

Reading Gcaba's affidavit, defence attorney Jimmy Howse said Gcaba, a 34 year-old taxi owner and operator residing permanently in Umhlanga, was a member of several taxi associations including the Berea Long Distance Association.

"I am not a member of the Sonke Long Distance Taxi Association. My attorneys have obtained the official list of Sonke members as it appears in the records of the Department of Transport.

"This proves that none of the applicants are Sonke members."

Gcaba, along with 10 others, appeared at the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday for their alleged involvement in Durban’s deadly shooting at the Brook Street taxi rank. They appeared before Magistrate Phumlani Bhengu and have been charged with murder, attempted murder and public violence.

The shooting is believed to have been prompted following a long-standing dispute between Sonke and Zamokhule Long Distance Taxi Association over a specific route.

The court heard earlier that Gcaba was the main driving force behind Sonke's illegal invasion of taxi routes that allegedly prompted the shooting at the Brook Street taxi rank.

The men said they acted in self-defence on the morning of September 16 and that they were neither members of Sonke nor of Zamokuhle.

On Wednesday, Gcaba pointed out that when the first applicant’s affidavit was prepared, the State had agreed to proceed under Schedule 5 of the Criminal Procedure Act.

On September 22, newly appointed prosecutor Khumbu Shazi indicated that she wanted to proceed under Schedule 6.

Schedule 6 offence

In terms of a Schedule 6 offence, a court was only entitled to grant bail where an accused showed exceptional circumstances why he should be released.

Howse said the initial agreement between the state and the defence was to proceed under Schedule 5. In terms of Schedule 5, the onus rests with the prosecution to provide exceptional circumstances as to why the accused should be denied bail.

It was agreed that this would be decided at a later stage.

In his affidavit, Gcaba said: "I am aware that the investigating officer had made enquiries with the Berea Long Distance Taxi Association and has verified my membership with the association. I trust he has done the same with Sonke..."

Gcaba said he and the applicants did not involve themselves in the business of Sonke after the Department of Transport issued an interdict on July 29.

"I attended a meeting with the department on July 30 where this matter was discussed…I did not attend the meeting on behalf of Sonke which was represented by Mr Vuyo Mkhize, the spokesperson. I did not have any association with Sonke thereafter.

In terms of the morning of the shooting Gcaba said: "On the morning of September 16... my co-applicants and I were nowhere near Sonke’s loading bays and had no business with Sonke."

Gcaba said he was at the rank to conduct an inspection of the loading and offloading by the Matatielle Drakensburg Taxi Association members.

"We were thereafter going to have a meeting in the offices of the Berea Taxi Association."

Gcaba said he should be granted bail because he had no previous convictions.

The case continues on Thursday.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  mfundo gcaba  |  durban  |  crime

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