Heavy police presence ahead of Bozwana memorial service

2015-10-08 12:28
A poster at the memorial service of slain businessman Wandile Bozwana. Picture: Tebogo Letsie/City Press

A poster at the memorial service of slain businessman Wandile Bozwana. Picture: Tebogo Letsie/City Press

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Cars and minibus taxis bearing anti-North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo posters arrived at Montshiwa Stadium in Mahikeng, North West, this morning ahead of a memorial service for slain businessman Wandile Bozwana.

Bozwana, a well-known Mahumapelo critic, was shot dead in what looked like a hit in Pretoria last Friday.

Anti-Mahumapelo songs could be heard blaring from taxis amid large clouds of dust from spinning vehicles. Some Economic Freedom Fighters T-shirts were also spotted here and there among the crowd.

The memorial service was organised by the North West Business Forum – which was co-founded by the deceased – and will get under way today amid heavy police presence.

Bozwana was a resident of Mahikeng where he owned a family house, land, residential estates and office complexes.

His death has left tension across the province where his friends and fellow businessmen have raised concerns for their own safety. Most of them believe Bozwana was killed for his bravery and courage, which saw him take the government to court in a number of cases.

Police yesterday condemned a call for people in Mahikeng to stay away from work and attend Bozwana’s memorial service.

“It has also been brought to the attention of the police in the province that some community members have been put under duress to respond to a no-work call.

“The call is reckless. We are all saddened. In the same breath, there is no reason why business should not continue as usual,” said police spokesperson Captain Paul Ramaloko.

Meanwhile, the forum has pledged R2 million as a reward for any information that could lead to the arrest and successful conviction of Bozwana’s killer.

“Our members have put the money together and we are willing to sell our assets if need be and take the amount higher ... That’s how serious we are about seeing Bozwana’s killers behind bars and justice served,” said forum leader Sello Mogodiri.

Police said he was a passenger in a yellow Renault Clio that was travelling from Sandton to Mooikloof in Pretoria when the attack took place.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Asnath Malatsi said the Clio came to a halt at a robot on the N1 at Garsfontein off-ramp on Friday at about 3pm.

“A silver BMW M3 stopped nearby and one occupant jumped off and opened fire on the Clio. Bozwana was hit by at least nine bullets. Two hit the female driver [who survived the attack] and Bozwana died later in Unitas hospital,” Malatsi said.

Bozwana was originally from Kuruman in the Northern Cape.

He joined the Bophuthatswana police and moved up the ranks, attaining the rank of captain before resigning. He started studying for a law degree and explored the world of business.

In a gathering by the business forum members in May, police were forced to use rubber bullets to disperse the crowd following a physical clash between businessmen and ANC Youth League members.

The business forum members were protesting against the North West government and Mahumapelo, and accused the latter of sidelining some local business people and “enriching himself”.

The forum said it had about 5 000 registered members most of whom were expected to attend the highly policed memorial service.

Bozwana will be buried in Pretoria on Saturday. Police were still searching for his killers.

Read more on:    supra mahumapelo  |  wandile bozwana  |  north west

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