First Tech's Wiggill allegedly paid for his own murder

02 March 2016 - 15:51 By Roxanne Henderson


Businessman Jeff Wiggill allegedly paid the man now accused of his murder R100,000 to carry out the crime. This is according to the prosecution in Thulani Cele's trial which started this week at the Johannesburg High Court‚ sitting at the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court southeast of Johannesburg.Cele‚ 40‚ is accused of murder and the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. He has pleaded not guilty.Wiggill‚ 54‚ was the chairman of engineering conglomerate First Tech. His body was found with three gunshot wounds to the head‚ next to his black Bentley in an open field in Protea Glen‚ Soweto‚ in June 2013.The prosecution alleges that Wiggill picked Cele up in Auckland Park‚ Johannesburg on the evening of his death and that Cele asked a friend of his‚ Kwenzakufani Madondo‚ to follow them to Soweto.Cele allegedly then asked Madondo to pick him up close to where Wiggill's body and car were found and paid him R2000 for his help.Following Wiggill's death‚ First Tech collapsed under immense debt and amid allegations of fraud.Claims emerged that Wiggill had forged the signature of his business partner‚ Andy Bertulis‚ to assist him in various dodgy dealings. Bankers said that Wiggill had illegally raised a number of bonds over the same vehicles and machinery many times over.Rumours circulated that Wiggill had faked his own death to escape his financial woes‚ while others claimed his demise was the result of an assisted suicide‚ similar to that arranged by late mining magnate Brett Kebble in 2005.On Wednesday‚ Bertulis testified that nothing was out of the ordinary about the way in which Wiggill behaved on the day of his murder.Cele's attorney‚ Boitumelo Lesomo‚ on Tuesday said that Cele had seen Wiggill on the evening of his death‚ but that he did not kill him. Cele did not have a firearm or ammunition in his possession either‚ he said.The trial continues. – TMG Digital/TMG Courts and Law

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