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Family of slain mine manager still live in fear

The facts surrounding the cold-blooded murder of the erstwhile mine manager of Tshepong and Phakisa Mine outside Welkom are again being heard in the Circuit Court (High Court) in Virginia.

The case involving the murder, which shook the Goldfields in 2017, resumed on Monday (29/07).

Simphiwe Kubheka (34) was shot dead on 28 September while leaving the mine property.

It was again testified on Monday that his murderers waited for him to slow down for a speed bump before they approached his vehicle and executed him in the driver’s seat.

This according to the accused, Tota Mohlabane, in a statement made shortly after his arrest in 2017.

In this statement, Mohlabane said that he and and a man known as Papiki hired a vehicle to take them to the mine on that fateful day.

They reportedly approached the vehicle and started shooting. He and Papiki then fled the scene.

Mohlabane later stated that he had been coerced into making the statement, and he denied knowing anything about Kubheka’s murder.

In an internal hearing last week, Judge Celeste Reynders found that Mohlabane’s statement and testimony would be allowed.

Mohlabane denied under oath any complicity in Kubheka’s murder.

Papiki, also known as Thethe Lelohonolo, pulled the trigger on the day of the murder.

He entered into a plea agreement and was sentenced to 21 years in jail.

Kubheka’s brother Zakhele died earlier this year.

The police investigated his death, and found that he had committed suicide.

His family, however, are not convinced of this and still live in fear.

Kubheka’s sister, who wishes to remain anonymous, says her parents are traumatised by the deaths of their two sons.

Zakhele was also a mineworker.

Adv. Johan de Nysschen is prosecuting, while Adv. Vasiliki Patrinos en Richard Leseme, in cooperation with the lawyer Joseph Kgoelenya, are appearing for the accused.

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