State opposes bail in ANC case

By Drum Digital
04 March 2013

A bail application by the eight men accused of murdering ANC North West official Obuti Chika was opposed by the State in the Klerksdorp Magistrate's Court on Monday.

Prosecutor Riekie Krause submitted that if the men were released, local residents would be shocked and outraged.

Several of the men had also failed to disclose previous criminal convictions or pending cases, she told the court.

Chika, 33, was shot at point-blank range in the driveway of his Klerksdorp home on December 14 last year. He died in a local hospital.

Krause told the court the State had a strong case against one of the accused, local government MEC China Dodovu.

She said he had three passports -- one diplomatic and two personal.

Krause claimed another accused, Sihlangu Sekhakhane, had confessed to the crime and had led police to his gun.

Forensics had later matched the bullets which killed Chika to this gun.

The other six accused are community member Jeffrey Letuka, North West provincial ANC Youth League chairman Papiki Baboile, ward secretary Paul Molomonyane, councillor Itumeleng Molebatsi, municipal worker William Malefo, and taxi driver Kgotso Kali.

The court heard that Sekhakhane claimed to have met Kali in a BMW X5 shortly before the crime.

Kali allegedly told him that, before he could attend the African National Congress's conference in Mangaung in December, Chika had to be killed.

Sekhakhane had admitted to killing Chika.

Krause confirmed that Baboile owned a BMW X5.

She told the court an unnamed witness had claimed to have heard some of the eight discussing murdering Chika during several meetings.

Krause said bail was also being opposed because some of the applicants knew "witness X".

According to the State, the witness said that on December 11, residents of Jouberton were upset with the municipality after the mayor arranged for shacks to be destroyed.

The assassination of the mayor was also discussed at a meeting involving the accused.

The witness was also present at another meeting at River Lodge on December 13.

Molomonyane, Baboile, Molebatsi, Kali, Molefo, and Dodovu attended that meeting.

The court heard that Letuka had also made a confession after his arrest.

He claimed that Kali had said Chika was close to the mayor and that if he was killed, the shacks would no longer be removed.

Letuka alleged that Kali gave him and his friend two explosive devices and promised them R50,000 for killing Chika.

Baboile and Molefo were apparently with Kali during the meeting with Letuka and his friend.

They came back later and said they could not raise the money. They took back the explosives.

-by Sapa

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