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'I fear for my life' - Businessman survived hit allegedly by Mathibela

Alleged hitman-turned-businessman Vusi Mathibela is said to be demanding payment from Mamelodi business people.
Alleged hitman-turned-businessman Vusi Mathibela is said to be demanding payment from Mamelodi business people.
Image: Thulani Mbele

A Mamelodi businessman who fled the township after being shot for allegedly refusing to pay alleged enforcer Vusi "Khekhe" Mathibela R150 000, has told Sowetan his story.

The businessman, who did not want to be named as he fears for his life, said Mathibela demanded money from him after he had won a construction contract in the township.

He said he was first contacted telephonically around September and was asked by people claiming to represent Mathibela to pay them R150 000 in hard cash.

"I refused to pay that money, and after a couple of days people came to my house early in the morning and shot dead my friend who was visiting me," the businessman said.

He said he believed that the gunmen who shot his friend mistook his friend for him.

"My friend was driving a car [similar] to mine, and we had parked in front of my gate to chat. My car was inside my garage," the businessman said.

He told Sowetan that following the incident he went back to his home village in Limpopo for about two weeks after giving police statements about the incident.

"After returning to my house, the following morning I was attacked and shot as I was about to leave my house."

The man was shot once in the abdomen area, with the bullet ripping through his liver. He said he underwent a seven-hour surgery.

The businessman said while recovering in hospital, he received a call from a man who introduced himself as "Thabo" who later connected him to Mathibela on the phone.

Thabo had told him that he was wrong not to listen to the man who sent them to him.

He said Thabo told him they have all the information about him, and even knew all his names in his ID document.

He added: "Thabo said izinto zakho zingalunga if wena ungalalela usi-organizele lemali esiyifunayo (your issues can be resolved if you can listen and come up with the money)."

The businessman asked how would he know that the money he needed to pay would get to Mathibela, he said Thabo told him that he would arrange a phone conversation between him and Mathibela.

"Thabo then connected me with Vusi who complained that his name was now all over the place because of me, and demanded R150 000."

He said he then told Mathibela that he could only afford R20 000, but Mathibela allegedly told him to use the R20 000 to buy his coffin.

"I don't feel safe, even here [where he's hiding], I still don't feel safe because it seems Vusi has many connections."

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