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Latest on actor Dumi Masilela murder trial

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The trial against five men accused of murdering the actor, Dumi Masilela, hit another snag on Monday after the prosecutor called in sick.

Judge Papi Mosopa rolled the matter over to Tuesday when Adv Lia van der Westhuizen is expected to be present.

Bongani John Masombuka, 34, Sfundo Harrison Nkosi, 30, Khumbuzo Solomon Mukhuba, 27, Brian Makhbubedu, 24, and Mashudu Malema, 31, appeared in the North Gauteng High Court on Monday where their trial has been set down until next week.

They have pleaded not guilty to Masilela’s murder and other charges ranging from robbery and kidnapping. These charges consist of a series of incidents.

The state is expected to call a fingerprint expert to testify when the five appear again on Tuesday.

In November, four of the five turned on their co-accused and fingered him as the triggerman in Masilela’s murder.

Nkosi, Masombuka, Makhubedu and Malema accused Mukhuba of pulling the trigger and killing Masilela on August 2 2017.

In his statement, Malema said on the night of Masilela’s shooting, the group had been on a hijacking spree and were travelling in a Toyota Quantum hijacked in Mpumalanga and a Jeep stolen that night.

Malema identified Masombuka as the ring leader, who conceived the idea of committing the hijackings that night.

“He had information about a yellow Jeep. We all boarded the Quantum and proceeded to Daveyton. Bongani [Masombuka] was driving,” he said.

“Jovalava [Mataule] and Solly Mukhuba were in possession of firearms and I was a passenger. We went straight to where the Jeep was parked and found the driver and another person outside the car in the parking area,” he said.

Malema said Mataule and Mukhuba hijacked the Jeep and forced the owner to sit in the back seat of his vehicle.

He said Nkosi drove the Jeep to Ivory Park, but they decided to make a stop in Umthambeka Section in Tembisa where a party was being held.

“We all stopped and Solly came out from the car. He noticed a VW Golf GTI parked next to the road. He took out his firearm from the waist and fired a shot at the driver [Masilela] of the VW.”

Malema said Mukhuba returned to the Jeep and complained that he failed to kill the driver of the car.

Masombuka, who also identified Mukhuba as the triggerman, said the hijacked Jeep was driven by Nkosi into Tembisa. Masombuka said Nkosi stopped next to Masilela’s vehicle.

“I noticed Solly come out from the passenger’s seat and run to the driver’s side of the Golf 7. I suspect the driver of the Golf 7 noticed the person [Solly], who was in possession of a firearm,” Masombuka said.

He said he heard a gunshot before Masilela’s vehicle sped past them. He said Mukhuba returned to the hijacked Jeep and they drove off.

Nkosi, who drove the Jeep, said in his statement that he stopped next to Masilela’s Golf 7. He said they tried to hijack his vehicle, but the driver managed to drive away.

Masilela was hit in the abdomen but managed to drive himself to hospital, where he later died.

The accused are facing 11 charges including murder, robbery, kidnapping, theft, possession of a hijacked vehicle and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

Nkosi said Mukhuba acted impulsively when he shot Masilela during the failed hijacking.

“Solly jumped out and tried to hijack it, but the driver saw him and drove off. Solly shot once at the car,” Nkosi said.

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