Suspects in Chiefs star Luke Fleurs’ murder deny charges

The six suspects arrested in connection with the murder of Kaizer Chiefs defender Luke Fleurs have told the Roodepoort magistrate’s court that they are not guilty of all charges.

They face charges of murder, robbery and defeating the ends of justice in relation to the soccer star’s case.

Ndumiso Ndura Moswane, 26, Fernando Nando Sive, 25, Nhlakanipho Dlamini, 21, Franky Xaba, 25, Maredi Mphahlele, 36, and Thembinkosi Hlomikhawu, 31, told the court that the state’s case against them is weak and therefore cannot link them to the crimes they are accused of committing.

They made their third court appearance at the Roodepoort magistrate’s court on Thursday.

They are facing charges of murder (common purpose), robbery with aggravating circumstances, and defeating the ends of justice.

Charges of possession of firearms and ammunition

During court proceedings on Thursday, the state, through prosecutor Paseka Temeki, withdrew the charges of possession of firearms and ammunition. However, no reasons were given as to why they withdrew these charges.

The six suspects were arrested in Slovoville, Soweto, two weeks ago.

Police said Fleurs’ luxurious red VW Golf 8 GTI vehicle was recovered two weeks ago. The vehicle was already stripped. Police said they believe the six suspects are part of a syndicate that is responsible for car hijackings in Gauteng. The search for more suspects is continuing.

Thursday’s court proceedings began with the accused presenting their affidavits in support of their formal bail application.

Their lawyers read their bail application affidavits before the court, outlining reasons why they should be granted bail.

Ingrid Mainule represented Moswane, Sive and Dlamini.

Shibu Molefe represented Xaba, Mphahlele and Hlomikhawu.

Both Mainule and Molefe are Legal Aid representatives.

All accused are South Africans, save for Sive, who is a Mozambique national.

They all live in Slovoville.

The suspects plan to plead not guilty to charges

The accused said they were going to plead not guilty to all the charges against them.

They said they will not comment on the merits of the case because their lawyers have not yet seen the case docket.

All accused, save for Hlomikhawu, said they do not have any previous convictions.

They said they can each afford R1,000 bail, which will be paid for by their family members.

Ndumiso Ndura Moswane (26), Fernando Nando Sive (25), Nhlakanipho Dlamini (21), Franky Xaba (25), Maredi Mphahlele (36), and Thembinkosi Hlomikhawu (31) appeared at the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court on Thursday. / Mpho Koka

Through his lawyer, Moswane said he lives with his mother, and is unmarried with no children. He also said he is unemployed.

Sive said he is a Mozambican national who moved to South Africa when he was one-year-old. He said he has never left South Africa since he moved to the country. Sive said he lives with his father and works as a panel beater for him, earning R500 fortnightly.

He said he has movable assets worth R8,000 but did not mention what these movable assets were.

Dlamini said he lives with his mother and is unemployed. He said he is a student at Gauteng City College, studying a course in agricultural science and farming management.

Xaba said he is unemployed, unmarried and has no children. He said he lives with his mother and three siblings.

Mphahlele stated that he lives with his mother and elder brother. He said he is unmarried but has two children, aged 13 and 12. The two children live with their maternal grandmother, he said. He added that he is employed as a gardener and earns R250 per week.

Previous convictions

Hlomikhawu said he lives with his mother and sibling. He is unmarried and has no children. Hlomikhawu said he works as gardener and earns between R250 and R300 per week. He also said he has two previous convictions.

Hlomikhawu said in 2015, the Carletonville magistrate’s court sentenced him to four years direct imprisonment for housebreaking with intent to steal and theft.

He said in 2017, the Roodepoort magistrate’s court sentenced him to two years direct imprisonment for housebreaking with intent to steal and theft.

Temeki told magistrate Delise Smith that the state needs one week to verify some of the personal circumstances of the accused that were read from their bail affidavits.

The defence did not object to the request.

Matter postponed to May 2

Smith postponed the matter to May 2 in order to give the state more time to verify the personal information of the accused.

Previously, the state said it was opposing bail. The accused are remanded in custody.

While heading to the holding cells, the accused waved at their relatives and friends who were present in the gallery of the courtroom.

Fleurs was shot and killed three weeks ago by two armed men during a hijacking. This happened at the Shell petrol station at the Constantia service centre in Florida, Roodepoort, Johannesburg.

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