ANC councillor behind bars on Valentine's Day after 'hit' at military base
An ANC councillor has been implicated in a bizarre murder plot that failed twice but succeeded on a third attempt.
Oudtshoorn councillor Magdaleen Titus landed behind bars on Valentine’s Day after she had allegedly hired “hitmen” to murder her husband Preston Titus‚ who was stabbed and hammered to death at their home on a military base in December 2017.
Titus appeared in the Oudtshoorn Regional Court on Wednesday in a bid to be released from custody but her bail application was postponed to February 21‚ said National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila.
Events leading up to Titus’s gruesome death were revealed in a plea agreement entered into with the state by Sixabiso Klip – Magdaleen’s former driver who knew the family well. He was sentenced to 15 years in jail in January for murdering Titus‚ a member of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).
In the plea agreement‚ Klip described how a plot was initially hatched to take out Titus while he was driving a car but that was replaced with an idea to drug him by putting brake fluid in his drink.
Two hitmen were allegedly offered R30‚000 each to execute the plan‚ which involved other co-accused.
The first attempt was planned for the evening of November 31 2017. But things went awry when two friends of the target‚ described as “drinkers” who would fall asleep‚ arrived and decided to spend the night at the couple’s home. While parked near the house‚ the hitmen became nervous about two other adult men inside the house and the plan was scuppered.
The following day the conspirators visited the house‚ armed with pepper spray and sleeping tablets. Klip introduced them to the husband as “pastors” from Port Elizabeth.
“They greeted Preston and spoke about Port Elizabeth. Preston said that he knows Port Elizabeth. The accused went out to smoke. The accused admits when he came back into the house (one of the hitmen) was holding the pepper spray in his left hand as if he was ready to execute the plan‚” said the plea agreement.
“The accused then told the two males in Xhosa that the neighbours are outside and they decided to again abandon their plan to kill Preston Titus.”
That evening‚ the hitmen decided to pounce again‚ but make the incident look like a house robbery. Crushed sleeping tablets were put into the dinner eaten by Titus. He was later stabbed with knives and beaten with a hammer.
Klip was arrested five days after the murder and sentenced to 15 years behind bars on January 19.
Six people were implicated in the murder‚ including Klip. The remaining five face charges of murder‚ possession of dangerous weapons and conspiracy to commit murder.