Twelve taxi operators accused of murder appeared before the High Court of South Africa; North West Division, sitting in the Klerksdorp Regional Court today – 20 September 2021.

They are facing two charges of murder and four charges of attempted murder.

When the matter appeared before the same court in June 2021, two of the state witnesses who survived the attack had already testified about their ordeal in the hands of the alleged perpetrators.

When proceedings commenced today, the state representative, Advocate Benny Kalakgosi led more evidence by calling a third witness, Kashiso Mahashe, who testified on how badly injured he was after the onslaught. He gave an account of his near death experience and how it’s still affecting his livelihood. The case is rolled over to Tuesday, 21 September 2021 for cross-examination.

On 19 September 2018, the accused who are said to be taxi operators in Boitumelo near Bloemhof, allegedly forcefully took six of the victims to Boitumelo taxi rank and assaulted them with spades, pangas, sjamboks, sticks and other objects.

The six were allegedly criminals belonging to a criminal gang known as SVK, notorious for terrorising the community for a long period and some of them facing criminal charges. The taxi operators then took it upon themselves to deal with these alleged criminals by taking the law into their own hands.

During the assault, Mooketsi Mogapi (33) died on the scene and Teboho Thoo (21) died four days later in hospital. Shadrack Mokonyane, France Watkins, Kashiso Mahashe and Thabang Leepile were severely injured but survived the onslaught.

Eleven of the accused, Olebogeng Ndlovu (28), Ivan Leonard (31), Mxholeli Bongola (41), Poliri Mohlolo (26), Isaac Ndlovu (29), Ishmael Ngubane (29), Nkululeko Nkencele (48), James Qankase (36), Jeremah Bonokwane (20), Boitumelo Magage (25) and Daniel Qangase (50) are out on warning, while Mohau Motswana (43) will remain in police custody for a different criminal matter.

The matter is set to continue in court until Thursday, 23 September 2021.