Mamelodi taxi boss Vusi 'Khekhe' Mathibela arrested
Mamelodi’s 'number one tsotsi' Vusi "Khekhe" Mathibela has been arrested.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo said Mathibela handed himself over to the police in Germiston, east of Johannesburg, on Tuesday night.
“On Monday, police in Mamelodi East had obtained a warrant for the arrest of Mathibela for extortion, intimidation and assault. Vusi 'Khekhe' Mathibela is alleged to have been part of a group terrorising the community of Mamelodi over a period of time,” Naidoo said.
The arrest comes after police minister Bheki Cele held meetings with the community in which they raised concerns about Mthibela’s reign of terror.
Cele said during the funeral of Matwetwe lead actor Sibusiso Khwinana at the weekend that police only found Mathibela's "warm shoes" when they pounced at his house, but promised that the men in blue would hunt him down.
Cele spokesperson Reneilwe Serero confirmed on Monday that the police were looking for the feared taxi boss.
"At the moment we cannot say why he is being wanted, but the police have enough evidence against him to want to question him," Serero said on Monday.
Mathibela's spokesperson Elias Skhosana, 41, and business associate Stemer Monageng, 51, appeared in the Pretoria magistrate's court under heavy police presence on Monday on charges of extortion and intimidation after they were arrested at the weekend.
Monageng is the deputy chairperson of the Mamelodi Long Distance Taxi Association. Magistrate Marley Mokoena remanded the pair in custody and postponed the matter to Friday for further investigation and a bail application.
Three other suspects believed to be Mathibela's bodyguards - Zwelibanzi Ngubane, Justice Khumalo and Asante Alfred - were also arrested at the weekend and charged with possession of unlicensed firearms. They appeared in the Alexander magistrate's court on Monday and released on bail of R2,000 each. Their case was postponed to April for further investigation. The fourth suspect was released pending further investigation.
Sowetan lifted the lid on Mathibela's alleged extortion ring in Mamelodi, which forces local business people to pay him protection fees.
Among his alleged victims are taxi owners, who apparently have to pay him R200 a week per mini-bus taxi.