State opposes bail of former prison warders accused of killing magistrate Victor Mabunda

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Murder accused and former Baviaanspoort Correctional Centre warder, Thomo Michael Ngoato, has been described as a dangerous man who has shown that he would do anything to evade justice, including murder.

Lieutenant-Colonel Andries de Jager told the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Monday that Ngoato planned and executed the hit on Cullinan magistrate Victor Mabunda, who was fatally shot four times in the driveway of his home in  Bronkhorstpruit in December last year.

Mabunda was presiding over Ngoato’s trial for contravening the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act after he was arrested with dagga that he allegedly sold to inmates at the prison near Pretoria.

De Jager said Ngoato arranged and paid for Mabunda's assassination. "He followed him and pointed him out to the shooter to ensure that the correct person was killed. He planned and executed the murder of Mabunda to evade justice," he said in an affidavit in opposition of bail.

De Jager said Ngoato had already threatened his co-accused, former prison warder Paulos Fourie, that he would die if he said anything. He said Ngoato's planning and execution of Mabunda's murder was demonstration enough that Ngoato would carry out this threat.

De Jager said Ngoato would make a run for it if he was released on bail because he was facing serious charges and a lengthy time in prison if found guilty.

Third accused, Thato Maringa, who has numerous other cases in different provinces, opted not to apply for bail.

De Jager also opposed Fourie's bail application, saying he had demonstrated that he would do anything "to help his friend [Ngoato] to kill in order to evade justice".

The court is yet to rule on the duo's bail application.

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