Generations star hijack suspect denied bail

Pretoria - The man who pointed a gun at Generations: The Legacy actor Rapulana Seiphemo during a hijacking has been denied bail in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court.

Magistrate Kiru Pillay was set to deliver judgment on Thursday when the State asked to reopen its case due to new evidence that had surfaced.

Investigating officer Constable Piet Shabalala told the court that Nathi Msiza, 26, had three outstanding warrants of arrests.

Shabalala also revealed that the reason the cases could initially not be found was due to Msiza having given different names in all the cases.

"The accused was arrested at Brooklyn in 2012 for theft. He was supposed to go to court in January 2013, but he never appeared. A warrant of arrest was issued for his arrest. The reason he could not be linked to his previous records is that he keeps changing his name when he is arrested. We only picked it up by fingerprints. He used the name Nkosinathi Mtsweni," said Shabalala.

The difference was his surname and adding "Nkosi" to his name. There was another case from 2012 in June where he used the name Lucky Emmanuel Msiza when he was arrested. There was also another one from Silverton, but Shabalala indicated he did not have the exact information as he couldn't get hold of the investigating officer in the matter.

New evidence

The defence team had opposed the introduction of the new evidence, indicating it would prejudice Msiza and that the State had ample time to uncover all the previous cases.

"The accused has been in custody since February 19 and the matter has been postponed a number of times. The State had ample time to get whatever information they needed," said Msiza's lawyer, Lesole Mokgatle.

Pillay, however, allowed the opening of the case and additional information. She said the court needed to hear evidence in full in order to deliver an informed judgment.

"The State has a responsibility to place all available information before the court to make an informed decision in a bail application of the matter. Court has a duty to have all available information," said Pillay.

The new evidence saw Msiza denied bail and the matter postponed to April 28 for further investigations.

In her judgment, Pillay indicated that the other cases which he absconded from were for minor crimes. The chances of him doing the same for the hijacking were higher.

Three people were killed in an accident on the N14 on February 14. Msiza's co-accused, Tebogo Makunyane, 34, was one of them.

The other two were Donovan van Zyl, 24, and Jacobus Coertze, 28, from Krugersdorp. They were travelling in a Toyota Corolla when Seiphemo's Audi crashed into them.

According to Seiphemo's statement, he was waiting in his Audi A4 at a robot in Centurion when Msiza and Makunyane held him at gunpoint and ordered him to drive along the N14 to Mogale City.

"One of them smashed the window of his vehicle and they both jumped in,” Shabalala read from Seiphemo's statement on Monday.

Wrestling for the wheel

Msiza, who was armed, sat in the back seat of the Audi and Makunyane in front.

Seiphemo drove along the N1 and took the N14 off-ramp. He increased his speed, which made Msiza and Makunyane nervous and they told him to slow down. Seiphemo refused and Msiza jumped out of the moving car.

Makunyane and Seiphemo began wrestling for control of the steering wheel, and collided with the Toyota Corolla.

Shabalala said he visited Msiza in hospital to get his version of events, and that he had lied. Msiza claimed a car knocked him down in Pretoria West and he was taken to Kalafong Hospital by ambulance.

He then spoke to paramedics who treated Msiza at the scene of the accident. The ambulance driver told him they found Msiza at the scene of the crash.

Shabalala then arrested Msiza for defeating the ends of justice and attempted hijacking.

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