Pete Mihalik's alleged killers refused bail

29 July 2019 - 19:10 By PHILANI NOMBEMBE
Cape Town advocate Pete Mihalik was killed while dropping off his children at school.
Cape Town advocate Pete Mihalik was killed while dropping off his children at school.
Image: Supplied

Three men, up for prominent Cape Town advocate Pete Mihalik’s murder, will remain behind bars until the end of their trial.

The Cape Town Magistrate's Court dashed Sizwe Biyela, Nkosinathi Khumalo and Vuyile Maliti’s hopes for freedom on Monday.

The suspected hitmen, Biyela and Khumalo, who were allegedly brought in from KwaZulu-Natal by Maliti, a taxi boss, are facing murder and attempted murder charges in their home province. Maliti is on trial for car theft.

The court found that the state's evidence, including cell phone records and Biyela and Khumalo’s statements, strong enough to keep them behind bars. All three face a count of murder, two counts of attempted murder and possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition. They intend pleading not guilty.

Mihalik, 50, was killed as he dropped off his son and teenage daughter at school in October last year.  A man walked up to his Mercedes-Benz GLE 63 and fired two shots through the driver’s door window. The gunman fled the scene in a silver VW Polo. Mihalik’s eight-year-old son was hit by fragments of one of two bullets fired into the advocate’s car outside Reddam House in Green Point.

According to the state, Maliti hired the car that was used in the alleged hit. It was also placed at the crime scene the day before.

The state says footage obtained shows two vehicles leaving the scene. They were stopped by a traffic officer in Green Point, who issued a traffic fine to Maliti, who as driving one of the cars. Maliti told the traffic officer that he lived in Khayelitsha. However,  his house is in Kuils River. Biyela was arrested the same day at a bus depot. He was on his way to Durban.

“Cell phone detailed billing pertaining to all three accused were obtained and, after analysis thereof, connect the perpetrators with each other prior to and on the day of the incident,” the state said in court papers.

“It also places them at the crime scene the day before as well as the morning of the murder. [Maliti] exchanged 11 Kruger Rands for R200,000 in Claremont, shortly after the murder, presumably as partial payment for the ‘job’. Based on the evidence emanating from the detailed billing of [Biyela and Khumalo’s] cell phones, he obtained their services and persuaded them to come from [KwaZulu-Natal] to execute the ‘hit’.”

“Having regard to the totality of the evidence presented to the court, the background and all other factors relating to this particular case, I am not convinced that the accused adduced evidence in support of their bail application … Bail is denied,” the court ruled.