The services of a private investigator have been sought by the family of slain businessperson Wandile Bozwana amid allegations by the deceased’s colleague that there has been “political interference” in the investigation.
Bozwana’s brother Benedict said the only reason they had appointed a private detective was because there was a need to “speed up processes that would lead to arrests”.
“More people have to be arrested and we felt the need to speed up the process so that we can also find closure as the family,” Benedict Bozwana told City Press today.
While his family tried to speed things up and find closure, Bozwana’s colleagues alleged there was “political interference” seeking to “derail investigation”.
“The guilty are scared and they have attempted to have the investigation team changed. People in high positions and those with political connections have been at work lobbying for the current team of investigators to be removed,” said the secretary of the North West Business Forum, Sello Mogodiri.
“We believe that work done by the police independently without any external influence will ensure arrests, prosecutions of killers and those who paid them as well as justice for Bozwana. There is however people who are trying to derail all this and want the case to end nowhere just like many others.”
Meanwhile, Bozwana’s family would not be linked to Mogodiri’s allegations but have released a statement confirming the involvement of Pretoria-based private investigator Mike Bolhuis and his team.
The family expressed the greatest gratitude to the police.
“We wish to convey our gratitude to the sterling work that has been shown by the members of the police team tasked with the investigation into this matter. Your undivided loyalty and commitment to the service of the people of South Africa is much appreciated and we wish you all the best in your pursuit for justice in this gruesome murder.”
Bozwana died at Unitas hospital in Pretoria on October 2. He was shot while in a vehicle driven by a colleague, Mpho Baloyi, who was hit by two bullets but survived. Baloyi drove the car to a nearby shop after the shooting. Bozwana received medical attention before being taken to Unitas.
It emerged that Bozwana and Baloyi, who had been in Sandton earlier, had been followed until the spot where they were showered with a hail of bullets after a BMW M3 pulled up next to them at a traffic light at the Garsfontein offramp on the N1.
Bozwana previously told City Press that he was aware that people wanted him dead because he was outspoken on a number of issues, including the questionable awarding of tenders.
Bozwana was outspoken, and had criticised Premier Supra Mahumapelo and accused him of blacklisting businesses – preventing them from being awarded government tenders.
At the time of his death Bozwana had been in the Constitutional Court with the North West government, where the latter was on a legal bid to prevent him from attaching state property for millions owed to him.
Bozwana had also been to court challenging the awarding of tenders amounting to more than R400 million in Lekwa-Teemaneng municipality without the projects actually going on tender.
Two men, aged 30 and 40, were arrested last month for his murder and made their second appearance in court today. They cannot be named as per a court order.
They were found in possession of “semi-automatic and automatic rifles” as well as ammunition, a suspected stolen vehicle as well as jammer for which they have been charged for contravening the electronic communications act which makes the unlicensed possession of the devices illegal.
Today, they appeared in the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court sitting at the Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Centre and told the court they were assaulted and coerced into signing confessions.
The two men listened attentively as their lawyer, Advocate Victor Nkhwashu, told the magistrate of the assault they had allegedly endured at the hands of police.
Nkhwashu added that he had not been able to consult with his clients because they couldn’t locate them. He said they told him about the torture this morning before their court appearance.
The magistrate asked if the pair required medical attention but both of them declined. They told their lawyer it was not necessary.
Prosecutor Desai Luphondo said the men could lay criminal charges against the officers and they would investigate the claims. Nkhwashu said they would not be applying for bail. They both confirmed they did not want bail.
– Additional reporting by Karabo Ngoepe, News24