'Co-accused wants me dead'

2007-02-12 21:19

Polokwane - Limpopo DJ Brian Rikhotso was denied bail when he appeared in the magistrate's court on Monday on charges of killing a senior legislature official who was also a popular pastor.

He appeared with his two co-accused, Samuel Mukansi, 32, and Johanna Maloka, 30. Charges against Maloka were withdrawn due to lack of evidence.

Rikhotso and Mukansi are accused of killing Pastor Musa Maluleke, 36, who was found in a shallow grave in a bush outside Thokgwaneng village last Thursday.

Rikhotso and Mukansi were not asked to plead and the case was postponed to February 20 for a formal bail application. They face six charges, which include murder, kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder and possession of two unlicensed firearms and ammunition.

Rikhotso, a DJ at Munghana Lonene FM, cried when Mukansi asked the court to separate them, as they were sharing a cell. Mukansi claimed Rikhotso planned to kill him.

"I have been told that he has organised that someone puts poison in my food. I don't want to die, so I am asking the court to separate us," he said.

The magistrate said it was up to police at the Polokwane police holding cells to decide whether to separate them.

Cops confiscate murder weapon

Pastor Maluleke ran one of Polokwane's largest music recording studios.

He was shot execution-style in the head.

Two men were caught driving his car on Thursday and led police to the shallow grave.

Police confiscated a revolver from them, which is believed to be the murder weapon.

The DJ was then implicated in the attack and was arrested by a special police task team just before dawn on Friday.

Police believe that Pastor Maluleke was kidnapped from his recording studio last Sunday.

The alarm was raised the following day when he missed an important meeting with colleagues at Limpopo's legislature.

He was meant to sign-off on the proofs of a book that he'd just written on the life of international motivational speaker, Dr Elijah Maswanganyi.

Police are investigating whether the murder was linked with a business dispute, or rivalry around the fiercely competitive music industry in Limpopo.

Maluleke is the son of Gezani Maluleke, one of Munghana Lonene FM's pioneers.