MBATHA BOMBSHELL

10 SEP2009 MMO - William 'KING BLING' outside the court in Germeston. Pic. MOHAU MOFOKENG. 10/09/2009. © sowetan
10 SEP2009 MMO - William 'KING BLING' outside the court in Germeston. Pic. MOHAU MOFOKENG. 10/09/2009. © sowetan

IN THEIR latest bid to have suspected crime mastermind William "Mashobane" Mbatha denied bail, Crime Intelligence said he was a flight risk because he had been found to have three different passports.

IN THEIR latest bid to have suspected crime mastermind William "Mashobane" Mbatha denied bail, Crime Intelligence said he was a flight risk because he had been found to have three different passports.

This bombshell was dropped yesterday by Inspector Abrahan Heyns, testifying in the Germiston regional court.

"It was confirmed by Home Affairs this morning," he told magistrate Isabelle Mlaba.

The Pretoria socialite was arrested in connection with a string of crimes including car theft, housebreaking, possession of an illegal firearm and tax offences.

Mbatha, who was on R15000 and R50000 bail granted by the Germiston magistrate's court and the North Gauteng high court, respectively, was rearrested last month after one of his alleged victims saw his pictures in the newspapers and alerted the police.

The complainant told the police that he was pulled off the road by Mbatha and three accomplices who were driving a BMW fitted with police lights on April 4.

They drove to his house at Brackenhurst in Alberton where they allegedly held his family at gunpoint before stealing two guns, jewellery, a laptop and R250000.

Heyns had on Tuesday revealed that a cellphone and two SIM cards were found in Mbatha's Boksburg police cell.

But defence advocate Jack Gerbe turned the tables yesterday and appeared to punch holes into the case.

He argued that the state did not have any evidence linking his client with the robbery.

"The only thing you have against the applicant is the fact that he was identified by the family of the complainant at the identity parade," said Gerbe.

He went on to accuse Heyns of conspiring to keep Mbatha in jail. Gerbe said Heyns knew about Mbatha's alleged link with the latest robbery before August 3 but chose not to raise it until his release on R15000 bail.

"You waited for him to be released so that you can rearrest him. You say a cellphone was found in his cell and he denied any knowledge of the said phone. Since you don't know if he was the only prisoner in that cell how can you say that it belonged to him?" asked Gerbe.

It was at this stage of cross-examination that Heyns appeared to cave in.

The hearing was postponed to Monday when another state witness is expected to take a stand.

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