Mpotswane labeled flight risk by court

Illegal immigrant denied bail in Putfontein theft and murder case

Image: 123RF/skycinema

Mduduzi Mike Mpotswane, a truck driver who was arrested together with the three men who are accused of killing people using a rifle they were testing, has been denied bail after failure to convince the court that he was not a flight risk.

Mpotswane, 38, appeared at the Benoni magistrate's court facing a theft charge together with his employer Gert Cloete who was granted bail three weeks ago.

State prosecutor Pheelo Molelekwa said the state had separated their case from that of Eugene Roberts, Ronald Holmes and his nephew Jeanne Pierre Holmes because the two had no involvement in the murder case. 

"However they still form part of the case as state witnesses. So unfortunately because Mpotswane does not have legal documentation and a valid passport to the country he remains detained."

Molelekwa said in an affidavit that Mpotswane submitted to the court that he arrived in the country earlier this year in search of his father. 

He also told the court that after finding his father who is a South African citizen he then got temporary employment with Cloete as a truck driver. 

"I was only here for six months trying to raise funds so my father who is unemployed could help me to obtain my identity book with home affairs but I ended up being arrested after acting under the instructions of my employer," he said.

Molelekwa said this did not take away from the fact that he entered the country illegally from Zimbabwe. 

"However during the trial should he be acquitted he will then be deported back to Zimbabwe and later make whatever arrangements with his father," said Molelekwa.

Mpotswane only faces a charge of theft for taking part in transporting plastic granules, under the instruction of the trio, to an unknown location after they were stolen from Tony Mziza's storage container. Mziza was shot and killed at Robert's plot and later dumped at an open veld near the corner of Vermeulen and Zebts streets in Putfontein, Benoni.

Roberts and murder co-accused, Ronald and Jean Pierre Holmes, are accused of hiring Cloete's truck after brutally shooting and killing Mziza, and later dumped his body in the open veld.

The trio are charged with two other men for murders.

This is after a head was found in a septic tank at the Holmes plot in Rynfield by police. Roberts also confessed to police that the Holmes brothers had destroyed the body belonging to the head by burning it with petrol. 

He showed police a video of another body that was ground and fed to pigs in another location also allegedly by him and the Holmes brothers. 

Their case was postponed to January 11, 2021

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