DJ accused of extorting money from murder accused

2015-03-04 14:13

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Johannesburg - A DJ who was allegedly shot by murder accused Lindrey Khakhu was on Wednesday accused of trying to extort money from him.

Logan Deon Smith and his mother tried to get R5 000 from Khakhu for them to not open an attempted murder case against Khakhu, Khakhu's lawyer Sog van Eck told the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, sitting in Palm Ridge.

Khakhu is on trial for crimes including the murder of 3-year-old Luke Tibbetts who was shot while sitting on his mother's lap in car last August in Westbury, Johannesburg.

He also faces charges of attempted murder, pointing a firearm, and illegal possession of a firearm. He has pleaded not guilty to all of them.

During evidence, Smith claimed that in June 2013 Khakhu shot him in the back during a street party.

He testified that Khakhu visited him in hospital two days later and asked him to not open a case. He instead offered him money to have an operation to have the bullet removed. Van Eck said his client would deny this.

He said Smith and his mother went to court two months later, where Khakhu was appearing for the murder of another Westbury man, Alton Mooi.

"You and your mother asked him for R5 000. You sat at the back of the court and you gave him a thumbs up when he was brought up from the cells," said Van Eck.

"The case was transferred to [another] court and you went there as well," said Van Eck.

Smith denied this.

"They wanted me to withdraw the case," he said, referring to the accused's parents and his sister.

Smith said there was no other way he could have known Khakhu was to appear in court that day.

Van Eck claimed Smith laid charges against Khakhu when Khakhu was granted bail and he realised he no longer had leverage on him.

"As I said sir, I never wanted money from him. I never said he must pay me," said Smith.

As Smith testified, Khakhu sat in the dock, writing notes. When Smith denied the extortion claims, Khakhu smiled, leaned forward and shook his head.

‘Under the influence of alcohol’

Smith earlier testified that on the day Khakhu allegedly shot him, Khakhu arrived at the party around 21:30.

"He looked as if he was out for a fight and he was under the influence of alcohol," said Smith, adding that Khakhu had argued with several people.

Smith approached Khakhu and told him to not fight with anyone. He invited him to sit with him and his friends.

"His beer fell. He left and said he was going to go and get another. He never came back," said Smith being led in evidence by prosecutor Deon van Wyk.

A short while later, Smith saw Khakhu standing with his girlfriend.

"Several seconds later, I heard a gunshot. I was hit in the back," said Smith.

"I was a distance away when the shot was fired. My back was turned to him," said Smith.

He told the court that prior to the shooting, he had not had a disagreement with Khakhu. The two grew up in the same street and had never feuded.

Van Eck, however, said his client denied pulling the trigger that night.

Smith said he had seen the gun and had even told Khakhu to put it away when he "flashed it around".

"He says he was in no way involved in any shooting," Van Eck said.

"He was the one," Smith replied.

Van Eck argued that Westbury was an area with gangs and several people carried guns. Some party goers could also have been armed.

It was established that Smith was hit by a bullet that ricocheted from the wall he was leaning against.

Van Eck said this meant the shot had come from the side and he did not see who had shot him. It could have been another person.

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 allegedly shot at the car as it drove off. A bullet hit Tibbetts who had been sitting on his mother's lap in another car.

Tibbetts died six days later. Mokwena escaped with injuries.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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