Ben Gumbi’s murder: Second suspect to apply for bail in December

Thabang Gwala, the second accused linked to the murder of businessman Ben Gumbi, is expected to apply for bail in the Rustenburg magistrate’s court on December 4.

Gwala appeared in court on Monday where the matter was postponed to next month.

He was arrested in Johannesburg on Thursday following a multidisciplinary police operation comprising the Hillbrow tactical response team, Rustenburg crime intelligence and Rustenburg detectives.

Henry Mamothame, spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority in North West, said the first accused, Sibongiseni Ngubane, was denied bail when he appeared in court recently after the state successfully opposed his application.

His case returns to court on January 9 after it was postponed for further investigations.

“Ngubane is facing a premeditated murder charge for the death of Ben Gumbi,” said Mamothame.

Ngubane was arrested by members of a multidisciplinary police team that was put together following the ruthless murder of Gumbi.

“He was arrested on 12 September 2023 in Germiston after attending a court case in which he was facing a charge of armed robbery, wherein he is out on R3 000 bail.

“He also has a pending case of possession of a firearm and ammunition in Alberton, wherein he was granted R1 000 bail,” said Mamothame.

Footage of Gumbi’s gruesome murder

Gumbi was shot dead at close range on August 23.

At the time, a video of his gruesome murder circulated widely on social media after he was gunned down in broad daylight at a coffee shop in Rustenburg.

In the video, the killer can be seen aiming the gun at Gumbi’s head and pulling the trigger before fleeing the scene.

The hit on Gumbi is allegedly linked to a dispute over a piece of land next to Sun City, a popular gaming and gambling resort in North West.

Gumbi and his business partner Jacob Ngakane started the Bakubung Smart City Development after securing a partnership with the local traditional authority.

The R3.2-billion development comprised a shopping centre, college, hospital, hotel, and sport facilities, among others.

It was projected to create more than 10 000 jobs.

However, it is alleged that the plans for the development of Bakubung were thwarted by people who occupied the earmarked piece of land illegally and erected homes on it. 

Gumbi and Ngakane, under the Bakubung Land Company, served the homeowners with a termination of occupation notice, which allegedly resulted in death threats against Gumbi.

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