'It's a shock that my mother was arrested for my father's murder' - son of Limpopo tycoon

Ngwako Mathebula, 46, was gunned down by unknown assailants at his home in Flora Park, a suburb in Polokwane.
Ngwako Mathebula, 46, was gunned down by unknown assailants at his home in Flora Park, a suburb in Polokwane.

The son of a Limpopo businessman who was killed at his home in Polokwane said today that he was shocked that his mother was among the people arrested in connection with the murder of his father.

Hlogi Mathebula was among the curious people who attended to witness proceedings in the Polokwane Magistrate's Court . Three people appeared in connection with the murder of his father, Ngwako William Mathebula.

Mathebula, 47, was shot several times in front of his 11-year-old son at his home in Flora Park, a suburb in Polokwane, on February 20. Following intensive investigations, police arrested Simon Ramela on March 27, followed by the businessman's wife, Nakedi Nelly Mathebula, on April 3, and Johannes Matlala, on April 11.

All three appeared before Magistrate P. Maharaj facing charges of conspiracy to murder and murder respectively. Their case was postponed to April 26 for bail application.

Hlogi, 18, said:“It came to me as a shock that my mother was among the people arrested for the murder of my father. But for now I will reserve my comment until such time that the verdict is out.”

He said he believed the law would take its course and ensure that justice is served on the matter.

His 42-year-old mother was charged with conspiracy to murder while her co-accused, Ramela, 40, and Matlala, 41, were facing murder charges.

Police said Ramela was arrested in Lephalale while Matlala was arrested in Olifantsfontein, Tembisa. Spokesman Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said they were still looking for Victor Mashakeng, whom they believe would assist in the ongoing investigation into the matter.

During the court appearance of the three yesterday, Mathebula's lawyer Advocate Hlakudi Mpe tried unsuccessfully to plead for his client to apply for bail, arguing that she had been incarcerated for a long time. Maharaj said all accused persons would apply for bail on the same day. The magistrate said he was under the impression that Mpe was representing all three, only for Matlala to indicate he would bring his own lawyer while Ramela requested a state lawyer.

“My client was arrested on April 3 and appeared in court two days later but the matter was postponed to April 6. She has stayed for too long and needs to apply for bail. I, therefore, plead with the court to exercise its discretion to allow the bail application to proceed,” said Mpe.

Maharaj said there was a congestion of bail applications on the court roll on the day Mathebula appeared in court, which made it difficult for the hearing to be conducted. Prosecutor Mpho Mehlape said the hearing was also postponed to obtain the woman's profile. Maharaj assured Mpe that he would make sure that the bail application happens at the next court appearance.

“I will also make sure to mark the charge sheet as preference to ensure that the bail application takes place on April 26,” said Maharaj.

The late businessman owned the Thaba Protection Services and Cleaning with offices in Polokwane and Johannesburg, among his many businesses.

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