File: The battle for control of the Associated Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) is heating up.
BRITS – A hit man was paid R50,000 to kill an Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) branch chairperson, the Brits Magistrate’s Court heard on Thursday.
“He was hired to kill. He was paid R50,000 in cash. He shared it with his accomplices,” Warrant Officer Johannes Montsho told the court.
He was testifying in the opposed bail application of Samkelo Mkhutshwa, 38, charged with the attempted murder of Malibongwe Mdazo, the branch chairperson of Amcu in Western Platinum.
The State alleges that Mkhutshwa shot Mdazo in Mooinooi outside Brits on July 22 in a bid to kill him.
Montsho told the court Mkhutshwa was one of ten people who conspired to kill Mdazo.
He said if he was released on bail witnesses, including Mdazo, would not be safe.
“The victim no longer stay at his house in Mooinooi due to threats he received. Shortly after the bail application of accused one [Nkosinathi Mantashe], a car stopped at the victim’s house and stones were thrown on the roof, this was to lure him out so that he could be killed. Fortunately he was not at home at the time and he was warned not to go outside.”
He added that Mkhutshwa confessed to one witness that he was involved in shooting Mdazo.
Pontsho Raikane for Mkhutshwa, asked how he knew how much money was paid. Montsho said one of the alleged conspirators divulged information to the police.
Opposing bail, he said Mkhutshwa’s life would be in danger as those who hired him would want to kill him so that he may not divulge who hired him, stating further that also in the Eastern Cape his life was in danger as he had told the police at the time of his arrest that there was a gang that wanted him dead.
“This allegation is so serious that he no longer sleeps in his room. We found his younger brother at his room, and he explained that the accused was sleeping in the main house because people wanted to kill him. We found him sleeping on the floor in his mother’s bedroom, while other rooms of the three bedroomed house were not occupied.”
Raikane said it was shocking that Mkhutshwa was in court for an alleged attempted murder of Mdazo, while the court heard during the bail application of Mantashe that Mdazo said he saw Mantashe with a firearm and wrestled over the gun with him.
He said there was something sinister about the case.
“It is shocking that the accused is before court, while the complaint in his statement said he was shot by the accused one [Mantashe].
“It is my instruction that accused two is not involved in the shooting and he never confessed to anyone,” Raikane said.
In his testimony, Mkhutshwa denied being in Mooinooi in July, and, in fact, the told the court he had never been in North West, let along Rustenburg or Mooinooi.
“I was in Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape at the time of the alleged shooting, I have never been in Rustenburg or Mooinooi.”
He told the court the only time he left the Eastern Cape between January and December 8, this year, was when he went to visit his wife and two children in KwaZulu-Natal.
He explained that he visits them every month end. He said his wife was a police officer stationed in KwaZulu-Natal.
The matter was rolled over to Friday for continuation of the bail hearing and judgment.