Taxi-killing judgment tomorrow

Ntwaagae Seleka

Ntwaagae Seleka

The trial of two alleged taxi hitmen is nearing its close in the Vereeniging circuit court.

Judgment in the murder trial of Alfred Zwane and Bheki Shongwe is expected tomorrow .

They are accused of murdering taxi owner Mcebisi Tambeka inside his minibus on October 22 2004 in Ennerdale, south of Johannesburg.

The two have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and murder before Judge Kathy Satchwell.

Earlier state witness William Lepule testified that Zwane and Shongwe knew about Tambeka's death.

Lepule said Tambeka was killed because he was a vocal member of the Lawley Taxi Association (LTA) which did not go down well with some of the organisation's executives.

"He was regarded as powerful and the only way was to silence him by killing him," said Lepule.

Lepule said he was informed that he was on the hit list together with Tambeka and other members of the association.

Shongwe, who was not a member of LTA, denied that he was hired to kill Tambeka.

"I knew Tambeka although I was not involved in the taxi business. I was not even aware that there were feuds in that association," Shongwe said.

He said Lepule lied about him because he had damaged his wall in 2004 and had not fixed it.

Shongwe also denied that he told Lepule that he had killed Tambeka and that he was owed R4000 by people who hired him.

He said he survived on various motor-related businesses.

"How could I ask Lepule to lend me money if I had my own businesses?"