court gives wife bail

AN MPUMALANGA woman accused of hiring two men to kill her husband was granted R1500 bail by the Barberton magistrate's court yesterday.

The case against 47-year-old Sophie Maziya has been postponed to July 8 to allow police to conduct further investigations.

It is alleged that in November last year, Maziya hired the two men to murder her husband, Mbori Mathebula, 50, because she "wanted to take over his businesses". Mathebula, who was allegedly shot several times in the stomach by the two men, who were armed with pistols, survived the attack.

Barberton police spokesperson Constable Jabulile Ndubane said: "The men approached Mathebula and ordered him to give them some cash. When he told them that he did not have any money, they started shooting him.

"The two men left the scene thinking that Mathebula was dead. He was found lying in a pool of blood at the gate of his supermarket. He was rescued by residents who saw him allegedly trying to crawl to safety,"Ndubane said.

He said a police investigation had subsequently confirmed that Maziya's aim was to have Mathebula killed in order take over his businesses.

Ndubane said Mathebula was convalescing at home, though he was still unable to walk properly.

Mathebula owns a butchery and a supermarket in Barberton.

Ndubane said one of the alleged hitmen, Thembinkosi Masilela, was serving time in prison for other crimes while the second suspect, who was arrested at the weekend, was expected to appear in court today.