Two officials face music over killing of taxi boss

TWO senior officials of an Alexandra, Johannesburg, taxi association - including treasurer Sonto Shabalala - are to appear in court today for the murder of the organisation's chairman.

Shabalala and her colleague at the Alexandra Taxi Association, secretary Tebogo Molebatsi, are expected to appear at the Wynburg Magistrate's Court with five other suspects for the murder of chairman, Mike Yende.

Gauteng Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungile Dlamini yesterday confirmed the court appearance.

He said police raided a house in Bez Valley, eastern Joburg, on the trail of two suspects but instead found people manufacturing fake DVDs and CDs. They immediately took the two men into custody.

Sowetan can also disclose that one of the alleged hitmen is Petrus Sithole, who was arrested in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, on May 1.

The Alex officials, Simiso Simelane, Zamani Madondo, Bheki Themba Zokwe, Mbongeleni Sithole were nabbed on May 4.

"But one of them was handed over to the court on May 7 by their lawyer," said Dlamini.

Yende was gunned down at the offices of the association in March after a meeting at about 5.30pm.

Also at the scene outside the office was his brother Fani and an official from the Gauteng transport department.

"It happened so quickly I could not even see if it was two people or more who shot him," said the brother.

"They bolted away from the scene before any of us could see them clearly."

Yende's killing angered Gauteng transport MEC Ishmael Vadi because he was considered a peacemaker in the volatile industry.

The arrest of Shabalala and Molebatsi has baffled colleagues because they worked closely with Yende.