Pretoria – The sentencing proceedings of controversial Mamelodi businessman Vusi “Khekhe” Mathibela, also referred to as “Mamelodi’s No 1 Tsotsi” and his three co-accused was once again delayed yesterday as the reports compiled by experts regarding their personal circumstances, were not yet ready.
The Gauteng High Court, Pretoria was due to receive eight reports today – two regarding each accused – from a psychologist and a probation officer.
This follows Judge Papi Mosopa’s conviction of the accused on June 23 of the 2015 murder of billionaire businessman Wandile Bozwana and the attempted murder of his business partner, Mpho Baloyi.
The judge postponed the matter to enable the accused to obtain pre-sentencing reports. But when the matter was back in court last month, it had to be postponed once again, because the experts had not yet consulted with the accused.
As the four are being held at the C-Max prison, which makes consulting difficult, the judge ordered that they be brought to court on four occasions, so that they could consult there.
But, as the matter was back in court yesterday, lawyer Anneline van der Westhuizen said the psychologist needed four to six weeks to compile her reports on each of the four accused.
Prosecutor Jennifer Cronje vehemently objected and said it was three months since their convictions, and a further delay should not be tolerated.
She said the four accused could just as well present evidence to the court regarding their personal circumstances in order for the court to come to a fair sentence.
Judge Mosopa was clearly also not happy with the delay and questioned why it took so long for the reports to be compiled.
Defence counsel, however, said there were many and complex issues to consider regarding the circumstances of each accused, and the psychologist said she needed time to consider everything before she made a recommendation regarding sentencing to the court.
Judge Mosopa reluctantly postponed the matter to December 6 until December 9.
Van der Westhuizen asked the court to order that the accused be brought to the court before this, so that she and the other counsels could go through the reports with the accused, before they were submitted.
But Judge Mosopa refused and said he had received numerous complaints regarding security last month when the accused consulted with the experts in the court’s holding cells.
He refused to elaborate on the complaints.
In postponing the matter, the judge made it clear that it was a final postponement.