Tracker in rented car entangles Pete Mihalik murder suspect
The suspected middleman behind the murder of Cape Town lawyer Pete Mihalik was sold out by the tracker in the rented car that was allegedly used as a getaway vehicle.
Vuyile Maliti also allegedly found himself trapped in a spider's web of cellphone evidence linking him to the crime scene.
Maliti's Sandton lawyer, Jannie Kruger, seemed more concerned than his relaxed client when an affidavit by investigating officer Lt-Col Charl Kinnear alleged that Maliti had rented a VW Polo which was used as a getaway car in the shooting last year, using his temporary driver's licence.
Mihalik was killed in his car in front of his son's school, Reddam House in Green Point, on October 30. CCTV cameras captured the moment when Maliti's co-accused, Sizwe Biyela, fired two rounds through the driver window of Mihalik's luxury SUV.
Sources suggest his murder, a week before he was expected to represent alleged underworld boss Nafiz Modack in his extortion trial, was linked to the fact that he was threatening to make serious allegations in court about Modack's underworld rivals whom he claimed were behind his client's arrest.
Maliti previously denied the charges against him and any association to Biyela and the third accused, alleged KwaZulu-Natal hitman Nkosinathi Khumalo.
But cellphone evidence taken from Biyela's phone showed that Maliti constantly called him from a cellphone number which Maliti once used to open an account at a financial institution.
When police searched for Maliti at his parents' home in Khayelitsha shortly after the murder, his mother tried calling him on the number which was saved on her phone under his name. The same number was saved on two other phones found in the house by the police.
In Biyela's affidavit he testified how he, Maliti, and Khumalo reconnoitred the crime scene in the Polo the day before the murder.
According to Kinnear, Maliti rented the Polo from Avis on October 27 with an agreed return date of October 31.
The taxi boss gave Avis a temporary driver's licence, which he obtained less than a month earlier from Lingelethu West driver testing centre in Khayelitsha.
Kinnear said the tracker report from Avis gave a location for the car at the corner of Upper Portswood and Main roads in Green Point the day before the murder.
"This corresponds to the information given by accused 2 in his warning statement about how they had scouted the area a day prior to the shooting," said Kinnear.
The next day, the car was pinged at De Smit and Somerset Road, near the crime scene at the time of the murder. Minutes after the shots were fired that ended Mihalik's life, the Polo was pulled over by a traffic officer as it sped along Somerset Road, along with a Renault.
Prosecutor Susan Booysen then told the court that new evidence from a motor vehicle theft case was linked to Maliti through fingerprints.
Maliti laughed quietly when Booysen said his fingerprints were found on a red Monster energy drink can which was found in an Audi that was used to steal a Toyota Hilux.
He also has a pending motor vehicle theft case in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court.
The case was almost thwarted when the Zulu interpreter, Gift Sithole, refused to interpret, saying he had not been paid by the court for services since October last year.
The case was postponed until June 25 after Kruger requested a postponement to review the new evidence.