People believed to have links with businessman Sam “Mshengu” Chabalala have had their own run-ins with the law, with one of them attempting to get an impounded vehicle released under false pretenses.
The 33-year-old man who contacted the Hawks claiming he was in possession of a high court order giving him permission to have one of Chabalala’s vehicles – an acid-yellow Mercedes-Benz bakkie – released from police impound is expected to apply for bail this week.
Motlokwe Amos Molatudi is facing charges of fraud, forgery and uttering (the act of knowingly passing on or using the forged document) after he allegedly made a number of phone calls and sent e-mails to different Hawks members, claiming that he was in possession of a court order endorsed by President Cyril Ramaphosa giving him permission to instruct the investigators to release the car.
The bakkie was seized by police in September last year after Chabalala allegedly offered a R120,000 bribe to a police officer to release the bakkie and to make his case of corruption, illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, illegal entry, remaining within SA and providing false information to be granted entry, disappear. He was released on R200,000 bail.
Chabalala’s bodyguard Phindokuhle Eugene Nkosi is facing a charge of murder and is expected to appear in the high court in December. This follows the assassination-style murder of Chabalala’s depot manager Nkosinathi Ngcongo.
Ngcongo was shot eight times at Sam Holdings in Bethal, Mpumalanga, where Chabalala’s trucking business is based.
Ngcongo was killed after giving an interview to the Hawks during their investigation into Chabalala.
Hawks spokesperson Capt Dineo Sekgotodi said they were offering a reward to anyone who can help them arrest 34-year-old Mhlab’uyaxega Mtungwa Khumalo, who is believed to be the trigger man.
“ Ngcongo was fatally wounded after two gunmen ambushed him at the Sam Holdings premises. Anyone who can help with the investigation will get the reward of R50,000,” Sekgotodi said.
A source close to the investigation said Khumalo was the missing link in solving Ngcongo’s murder.
The source told Sowetan that Nkosi and another man were captured on CCTV footage visiting Chabalala in hospital on September 12.
“That’s the guy we are looking for. We know he is not from Mpumalanga and we suspect he was the trigger man,” said the source.
Anyone with information on Khumalo’s whereabouts can contact Capt Bongani Mdebuka at 082-782-4443 -SOWETAN.