Bail application in double murder of Polokwane businesswomen postponed

SABC News Court 1 - Bail application in double murder of Polokwane businesswomen postponed

The bail application of five men accused of killing two businesswomen in Polokwane, Limpopo, has been postponed to the 22nd of this month for heads of arguments to be heard in local magistrate’s court. 46-year-old Makoena Mabusela-Leshabane and her friend 35- year-old Tebogo Mphuti were shot dead execution-style at the Polokwane industrial site while sitting in their luxury car two months ago.

The alleged mastermind, 57-year-old businessman Stanley Leshabane, who is the husband of one of the deceased women, is among the accused.

The court on Tuesday only presided on the short submission of an affidavit of police’s cell phone expert, who did not appear in person. His evidence is the last one and no more witnesses will be called to take the witness stand.

The police’s version of the events remained that the suspects’ cellphone records put them at the scene of the crime. The suspects allegedly traveled from Katlehong in Gauteng province to Polokwane in Limpopo to execute the hit.

They were allegedly hired by Leshabane.

Distance from crime scene is no proof of crime

Earlier in the month defense lawyer Paul Whitey Moruleng who represents four of the accused argued the fact that cellphone records show the suspects were 18 meters from where the women were shot doesn’t mean they committed the crime.

Moruleng says the car tracker records that police mostly rely on to prove the car was driven from Gauteng to Limpopo, also do not mean the suspects were the occupants of the getaway car, used in the hit.

The state alleges that records show that the car used in the murder followed the women 4 kilometres from where they lodged in Polokwane, to where they were killed on October 10, 2020.

Warrant Officer Gerald Kotze told the court they checked car tracking records at four toll gates namely, Zebediela, Kranskop, Phumulani and Carousel toll gates.

Records showed that the red sedan used by the suspects went through the border gates on their way to Polokwane and on their way back to Germiston. However, Moruleng says the camera records at toll gates do not clearly show who the occupants of the car were.

Moruleng told Kotze that the police’s case mainly relies on circumstantial evidence. He says confessions allegedly made by the suspects were made before Colonel Richard Moshomane, who was not in court to give evidence and maintained all the suspects are innocent and deserve bail.

Moruleng also told Magistrate Janine Ungerer that they all cooperated with the police during their arrest and that the court should consider that when deciding on their bail application.

The shooting incident was captured on surveillance video cameras at the crime scene. Three of the suspects work in the taxi industry in Germiston and Katlehong as drivers and a queue marshal, while the other one is unemployed. Suspect number two is an uber driver and the vehicle used in the hit is an uber taxi.

Judgment on the suspects’ bail application will be handed down on the 28th of this month.

The post Bail application in double murder of Polokwane businesswomen postponed appeared first on SABC News – Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa's news leader..

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