State witness in alleged taxi violence case flees home

2015-09-04 10:09


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A STATE witness who testified in the Pietermaritzburg high court this week in a case allegedly related to taxi violence in the province, had to flee his home on Wednesday night, the court heard yesterday.

The court adjourned yesterday morning after Judge Thoba Poyo-Dlwati was told that police were busy searching for the witness who had fled the area in the wake of an overnight attack on his home in the Kranskop area.

A few hours later state advocate Frank van Heerden confirmed that police had managed to trace the witness but said he was not in a position to continue giving evidence yesterday.

The Witness was asked not to publish the name of the witness due to concerns for his safety.

The man testified this week at the trial of Mondli Zulu (35), who is charged with murdering Nelson Cele and attempting to murder Cele’s girlfriend Ntombifuthi Thusi and his sister Phumzile Cele on April 29 last year.

The state alleges in its indictment that the attack was related to a leadership dispute that arose within the Maphumulo Taxi Association of which both Zulu and Cele were allegedly members.

According to the indictment the two men supported opposing candidates for the position of chairperson of the taxi association at the time.

This allegedly resulted in a conspiracy to kill Cele.

On April 29, last year, Zulu and other assailants allegedly travelled to the Mphise area of Kranskop to search for and murder Cele. They allegedly saw him driving his vehicle, accompanied by his girlfriend and sister.

They allegedly pursued his car in their own vehicle and when they caught up with him, fired shots which struck Cele and the women.

Cele died in Ntunjambili Hospital of gunshot wounds to his chest and abdomen.

The state witness, an innocent bystander who had witnessed the incident, identified Zulu as one of the attackers during his evidence.

The Witness was told that the man had declined to enter a witness protection programme prior to giving evidence in the case.

He is currently still under cross examination by defence advocate Louis Barnard

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  court

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