‘No. 1 tsotsi’ abandons bail application, arguing his arrest was unlawful

The bail hearing of his two co-accused, meanwhile, has been postponed until March 22.

Notorious criminal Vusi “Khekhe” Mathibela, dubbed “Mamelodi’s number 1 tsotsi”, appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate Court on Monday for his bail application alongside his co-accused, Elias Skhosana and Stemer Monageng.

There will be no ruling on whether or not Mathibela will get bail, however, as he abandoned his bail application, stating that he believed his arrest was unlawful. He claims the police arrested him without a warrant and has revealed that he plans to challenge his arrest before the High Court.

The bail application of Skhosana and Monageng, meanwhile, was postponed to March 22.

The magistrate said it was too late to rule on the pair’s bail hearing, as she had to attend to another matter at 2pm and had been waiting for the defence team since 9am.

“It’s not my fault. If we started at 9, we would’ve been done by 1,” she said, before announcing the postponement.

Mathibela and his co-accused will remain behind bars in the interim.

The three were photographed laughing and joking together at the bail hearing.

Skhosana and Monageng are facing “schedule five” charges of extortion. According to the state, they have extorted over R600,000. Skhosana reportedly earns R40,000 per month, but doesn’t owe the bank for his R5.5 million Silverlakes home.

Mathibela, 33, appeared before the Pretoria Magistrate Court last week after handing himself over to the Germiston police on Wednesday morning, following claims that he was sought for running an extortion ring in the township east of Pretoria.

He arrived with a huge contingent of heavily armed police officers who sat in court throughout the proceedings.

While Mathibela was accompanied by his legal representative when handing himself over to the police, he claimed that he was never issued with the warrant of arrest.

In an affidavit read by his lawyer, Anneline van den Heever, Mathibela further stated that he was assaulted by police. She requested that the court grant her application to find the arrest unlawful and to immediately release him.

Vusi ‘Khekhe’ Mathibela appearing at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court for alleged extortion and intimidation of businesspeople. Picture: Jacques Nelles

“At the time of my arrest which was, as already stated, effected in the presence of my attorney … I was not given reasons and/or particularity for the arrest and/or the offence that I allegedly committed. I have been advised, which advice I accepted, that in terms of the provisions of … the constitution, I have the right to be informed promptly of the reasons for my detention. This has not happened.”

But the state argued police had reasonable grounds to arrest him as they believed he committed an offence.

State prosecutor Lozi Tshomela said Mathibela was meant to hand himself over on Monday after two other accused linked to the case, Elias Skhosana and Stemer Monageng, were arrested over the weekend.

“He was arrested in Germiston and the warrant was applied for in Pretoria, where he was supposed to meet with the police and hand himself over on Monday, along with the other accused. There was a hunt for the accused on Monday but he was not found.”

Magistrate Marley Mokoena dismissed Mathibela’s application to be released.

From left to right, Elias Skhosana, Stemer Monageng, and Vusi ‘Khekhe’ Mathibela appearing at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court for alleged extortion and intimidation of businesspeople. Picture: Jacques Nelles

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