Sakhiseni Nxumalo
Senior journalist
4 minute read
20 May 2022
06:10

Alleged killer of Pietermaritzburg businessman denied bail

Sakhiseni Nxumalo

A road rage incident is alleged to be behind the murder of a local businessman.

A road rage incident is alleged to be behind the murder of a local businessman.

One of the three men accused of murdering Pietermaritzburg businessman Gary Moodley (62) was denied bail on Thursday. The trio — Sanele Khoza (32), Mthobisi Ngcobo (24) and Mthobisi Mncwabe (23) — appeared at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court.

Khoza is facing charges of murder and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, while Ngcobo and Mncwabe are both only facing charges of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. They were arrested seven days after the murder, on May 9.

During the bail application on Thursday, Ngcobo and Mncwabe mostly cast their eyes towards the ground, while Khoza constantly had his head in his hands.

The court heard that Moodley had been at the Cubana nightclub, at the Invesco Centre, on May 2.

On his way home, he allegedly bumped into the car in which the three men were travelling. The three men then got out their car and an altercation between them and Moodley ensued.

The court heard that after allegedly assaulting Moodley and throwing him into his car, Khoza then got into Moodley’s car and drove off for a few metres while Ngcobo and Mncwabe then followed behind in their vehicle.

Khoza allegedly stopped the vehicle and shot Moodley in the chest. He then fled the scene.

Moodley was later found with a gunshot wound in his chest inside his car near the Invesco Centre.

The prosecutor, Sipho Thwala, told the court that the state was not intending to oppose bail for Ngcobo and Mncwabe.

The accused’s representative, Thembinkosi Ndlovu from T. J. Ndlovu Attorneys, said that Khoza should be granted bail as he was the main breadwinner who supported his family and his child.

In his affidavit read out in court by Ndlovu, Khoza said he was not a flight risk. He said even on being arrested, he did not flee or resist as he knew that he had committed a crime.

“I pleaded guilty to the crime at the time of my first appearance in this court and there is no other reason for me to not attend the trial.

“I do not intend to waste the time of this court as I am fully aware that I have committed a crime,” said Khoza in his affidavit.

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However, the state opposed bail, citing that Khoza was not remorseful and had attempted to evade arrest after police spent seven days searching for him.

Thwala said Khoza was only arrested after the provincial crime intelligence unit became involved.

He told the court that the firearm used to murder Moodley had also not been found and Khoza was not forthcoming in handing over it.

Thwala said Khoza was also a danger to the public and should bail be granted, it would create public doubts about the justice system.

Magistrate Nitesh Binessarie granted R2 000 bail each for both Ngcobo and Mncwabe on condition that they both reported to Alexandra police station every Friday, attended court cases on a given date, and did not interfere with the investigation.

“The deceased [Moodley] lost his life just because of a car collision. We are now faced with a tragic loss of life and without a doubt, family, friends and the community were affected by his death.”
Magistrate Nitesh Binessarie

For Khoza, Binessarie said he was aware that he was intending to plead guilty to both charges, however, in his view, Khoza was a flight risk.

He said should Khoza be released, he could dispose of the firearm, which was needed for evidence.

“The deceased [Moodley] lost his life just because of a car collision. We are now faced with a tragic loss of life and without a doubt, family, friends and the community were affected by his death.

“He also had a family which he was supporting and which depended on him. And now, those dependents would have to suffer after his death,” said Binessarie.

The magistrate said bail was denied to Khoza and he would be kept in custody until the next appearance.

The matter was postponed to June 23 for further investigation and getting witness’ statements.