Plot to kill taxi war witnesses

2013-04-03 11:47
(File, Sapa)

(File, Sapa)

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Mbombela - There is a plot to kill two State witnesses who testified against three minibus taxi bosses accused of multiple murders in a taxi war in Mpumalanga and Gauteng in the 1990s, authorities said on Wednesday.

"I can confirm that our relevant operational managers in Mpumalanga are aware of the potential threat and are managing the situation," said correctional services department spokesperson Koos Gerber.

"Obviously we cannot elaborate more on any special measures or arrangements."

The department was working with the National Prosecuting Authority to ensure the plot did not succeed, said Gerber.

"We are working with the NPA, and all is in place. There must be no worries," he said.

Witnesses being kept safe

NPA spokesperson Medupi Simasiku said the witnesses were being kept safe.

"As the correctional services and the police have the information, they will make sure that the witnesses are safe. We can't talk much on how, but they know how to handle it," he said.

Concerned taxi owners have said there is a plot to kill convicted hitmen Michael Grey and Kenneth Nkosi, who testified in the trial against Samuel "Vuyo" Manganye, 59, Calvin Lubisi, 47, and Mfanufikile "Mamelodi" Mbonani, 33.

Nkosi and Grey were convicted between 1998 and 1999 and are serving sentences in Zonderwater maximum security prison.

Manganye was the president of the Federated Local and Long Distance Taxi Association (Felldta).

Lubisi and Mbonani managed the Successful United Taxi Association (Suta) that was affiliated with Felldta and operated between Mbombela, Hazyview, and Bushbuckridge.

The taxi war was between Felldta and the SA Local and Long Distance Taxi Association (Salldta) and its smaller affiliates.

Manganye, Lubisi, and Mbonani have pleaded not guilty to 12 charges which include three counts of murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping, illegal possession of 9mm pistols and revolvers, illegal possession of AK 47s rifles and ammunition, and pointing a firearm.

The case has been postponed to 4 and 5 April for judgment to be delivered.

Read more on:    mbombela

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