Limpopo taxi boss murder suspects denied bail again

Michael Sakuneka

Michael Sakuneka

Four suspects arrested after they allegedly shot and killed prominent Limpopo taxi boss Lebeko Michael Malatji earlier this year will have to stay in jail before their trial.

The four appeared in the Bolobedu magistrate's court near Modjadjiskloof on Friday, where they were denied bail for the third time.

They are Ronny Maswanganyi, 27, a taxi driver from Giyani, taxi owner Ambros Mathebula, 43, from Bolobedu and two alleged assassins from KwaZulu-Natal, Mandla Sithole, 24, and Simisele Auze, 26.

It is alleged that Maswanganyi and Mathebula conspired to hire the two alleged hitmen to kill Malatji.

The four suspects were arrested a few days after the incident.

Malatji, who was also chairman for the Mopani Taxi Council, was gunned down in cold blood when he arrived home at Ga-Ntata village in Bolobedu from a meeting related to taxi business in Polokwane four months ago.

Police spokesman Captain Freddy Maenetja said the case had been referred to the periodical high court that will sit in Tzaneen on September 19 for trial.

"The shooting might have been related to a taxi dispute between members of the Giyani and Molototsi taxi associations over the Mooketsi- Maphalle route," Maenetja said.