State flays social worker's report on Bozwana murder accused

'It's one-sided, focuses only on Khekhe's personal circumstances'

Controversial businessman Vusi Mathibela is in the Pretoria High Court for the murder of businessman Wandile Bozwana.
Controversial businessman Vusi Mathibela is in the Pretoria High Court for the murder of businessman Wandile Bozwana.

The state has asked the court in the Wandile Bozwana murder trial to reject the social worker’s pre-sentencing report which, he suggests, favoured the accused and ignored the pain of the family of the deceased. 

Yesterday, a social worker, whom the court ordered not to be named, submitted her evaluation of Vusi “Khekhe” Mathibela, who is accused no 3 in the Bozwana murder case. 

The report looked at Mathibela’s family background, history in the taxi business where he owned about 50 minibus taxis at the time of his arrest and his environment while incarcerated in a single cell for 23 hours per day without radio or television. The social worker interviewed Mathibela’s relatives and business partners who spoke about how they were suffering in his (Mathibela’s) absence. 

“Everything logically stopped for him since his arrest and prison has destroyed him physically, mentally and emotionally... The accused has shown that he can still be considered a valuable citizen. He can enrol in programmes and therapy available within the prison environment,” read the report in part. 

However, prosecutor Jennifer Cronje dismissed the report and said it was one-sided and read like a replica of the reports of Mathibela’s co-accused Sipho Patrick Hudla, Matamela Robert Mutapa and Bonginkosi Paul Khumalo. The four were found guilty in June last year of murdering Bozwana and attempting to murder his business partner Mpho Baloyi on the Garsfontein off-ramp in Tshwane in October 2015.

“These reports are entirely focused on the defence and nothing on the victims. They are copy and paste of each other. This report must be rejected and I put it to you that this report is one-sided and focuses only on the personal circumstances of the accused,” Cronje argued.

However, the social worker said she was not aware that she should have reached out to the community to get their opinion about the accused, adding that she had tried with no luck to reach out to the family of the victim.

In her report, the social worker said she had not been able to reach Bozwana’s family and that Mathibela had pleaded not guilty and had shown no remorse as he felt it was not necessary because he was not involved in the crime. 

Sentencing is expected to resume on Friday.

It also emerged yesterday that Bozwana’s mother Alleta was killed in an alleged robbery in the Northern Cape on Tuesday. “We received the shocking news [on Tuesday] of the robbery at our mother’s home in Kuruman, where the robber was confronted by a neighbour who helps our mother in her shebeen business,” said Bozwana’s brother Maviki. 

Suspicious, the neighbour alerted a family member who found her body. Her car, ID and house keys were missing. Maviki said the suspect is still at large.

This is the fourth murder in the family, which he said were not linked to Bozwana’s murder.

“The first was my twin brother's in Zeerust in 1997, the second was Wandile, third was our youngest brother who was stabbed to death in a tavern, and the fourth is my mother. With the youngest brother, the perpetrator was on parole and he is still roaming the streets,” said Maviki.

Additional reporting by TimesLIVE

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