By BRENDA MASILELA
PRETORIA – A former police officer has denied giving notorious Mamelodi taxi boss Vusi “Khekhe” Mathibela his passport to travel out of the country, thus violating his bail conditions in the murder case of businessman Wandile Bozwana.
The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria subpoenaed Siphiwe Xulu after Mathibela’s legal representative insisted that the officer gave the accused his passport.
The State is applying to have Mathibela’s R50 000 bail forfeited and his bail cancelled after he allegedly violated his bail conditions.
Mathibela, 33, was arrested on a separate matter on March 13 on charges of extortion, intimidation and assault. He subsequently appeared in the lower court and is still in custody.
The State said that Mathibela was arrested while preparing to go on a holiday to Dubai despite his bail conditions preventing him from leaving the country.
In addition, the State has argued that Mathibela spent four days in Mauritius while out on bail for the murder of Bozwana.
Mathibela’s lawyer Annelene van den Heever argued that Mathibela had complied with his bail conditions, including handing over his passport and a title deed to his property.
She said following arrangements between Xulu and his lawyer, Mathibela was given his passport to travel to Mauritius in 2017.
On Wednesday while on the stand, Xulu denied receiving the passport and the title deed.
“For every document I receive of important information, I sign for it…and the person handing over also signs for it. I checked my 2017 diary and there is no where I or respondent had signed,” Xulu said.
Van den Heever asked Xulu whether he understood that as the investigating officer, he was in charge of receiving Mathibela’s passport.
Xulu said the magistrate did not specify that Xulu should confiscate the passport. He insisted the court used the word “produce”, meaning the accused should merely produce the passport to the police.
The former police captain said his task was to open a file on Mathibela, verify his address and that of the co-accused, and ensure Mathibela reports to the Midrand police station regularly.
He said he was not aware of who was tasked with collecting Mathibela’s passport.
Xulu said they were eight investigating officers on the matter and he was removed from the case, along with others.
Two officers, who previously took the stand, conceded that Xulu was removed as an investigating officer.
Constable Evans Mongwe had told the court he was informed that Mathibela was in possession of his passport and did not hand it over.
The matter continues.
African News Agency (ANA)