RUSTENBURG, August 11 – One of the men accused of hacking a man to death in Marikana is too dangerous, the Rustenburg Magistrate’s Court heard on Friday.
“Accused 12 [Luvo Soyizwaphi] is one of the dangerous people, he is the commander of the Marikana West Phase 2 military,” Warrant Officer Victor Ramorwesi told the court.
He told the court Soyizwaphi was the first to stab Sabata Petros Chale with a spear in Marikana on December 8, 2016.
“Five spears were found at his house when he was arrested.”
Ramorwesi told the court it was difficult for the police to arrest people in Marikana near Rustenburg in North West, following an order from residents of Marikana West Phase 2, that the police would be attacked when they enter their area.
He was testifying in the opposed bail application of Soyizwaphi and seven other people, accused of hacking Chale to death allegedly over the allocation of low cost houses (RDP) in Marikana West Phase 2.
He said there was a hit list containing the names of African National Congress members and Chale who was a member of the SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) which is in alliance with the ruling ANC.
“The deceased was against the unlawful occupation of houses in Phase 2. He was also vocal during the municipal election,” Ramorwesi told the court.
“It is not yet clear whether the murder was politically motivated. The deceased was against the unlawful occupation of houses.”
He said it was difficult to arrest suspects linked to Chale’s murder because Marikana was a no-go area for the police and they could not be arrested at their workplace because there was a 2012 agreement between Lonmin and unions that no worker would be arrested at work, explaining why some of the accused were arrested as late as March and May.
One eyewitness was attacked even though it was not known that he would testify and he had moved out of Marikana. The other eyewitness was one of the people involved in planning and killing Chale. He had turned a State witness.
Ramorwesi said police officers were attacked with spears while patrolling in Marikana West Phase 2 on January 15, and he was attacked while entering the area to investigate the murder case.
“More people will be arrested, the investigation team decided to focus on the front runners or leaders of the group that attacked the deceased,” Ramorwesi said.
“The court must consider the interest of the society when deciding on this bail. The deceased was married with two children, his daughter saw a mob heading to their home and called on their father to runaway. One of his children was three-months-old when he was hacked to death,” he said wrapping up the State’s case, before Eric Max for the accused cross examined him.
The State alleges that Aubrey Seitsang, Sibonile Sobopha, Mdlondozi Fundiwo, Herbert Baqhesi, Napolean Webster, Aphindile Pungone, Samson Gqwetani, Gift Luveli, Nkululeko Msithwa, Nkosindiphile Nziyose, Luvo Soyizwaphi, Sivuyile Qasha and Mzolisi Mbulana hacked Chale to death.
Napoleon Webster was released on a R3000 bail after he appealed the decision of the Rustenburg Magistrate’s Court to refuse him bail, at the North West High Court.
Aphindile Pungone was granted R2000 bail following a dispute of whether he was in Marikana on December 8. He claimed he was in Sandton, Johannesburg at the wage signing ceremony.
Seitsang, Sibonile Sobopha, Mdlondozi Fundiwo, Herbert Baqhesi and William Nyenyane had been deneid bail. They were expected to appear in court on September 12.
While Samson Gqwetani, Gift Luveli, Nkululeko Msithwa, Nkosindiphile Nziyose, Luvo Soyizwaphi, Sivuyile Qasha and Mzolisi Mbulana are applying to be released on bail.
The case resumes.