Hit 'mastermind' surrenders after months on run

10 January 2016 - 02:00 By MZILIKAZI wa AFRIKA and STEPHAN HOFSTATTER

The man believed to be the mastermind behind the murder of prominent North West businessman Wandile Bozwana has handed himself over to police after months on the run. Pretoria nightclub and taxi owner Vusi Nyawane, who has hobnobbed with the likes of boxing star Floyd Mayweather, handed himself in at Brooklyn police station in Pretoria on Wednesday night.story_article_left1Hawks head Major-General Mthandazo Ntlemeza confirmed on Friday that Nyawane had been detained and would be charged in connection with the murder. He has not appeared in court yet.Police had been hunting for him since the arrest of two men in November last year, who confessed that Nyawane had hired them to kill Bozwana.The Sunday Times has seen the confessions, which claim that Nyawane was the mastermind behind the politically charged assassination, apparently because Bozwana had stood in the way of lucrative state contracts Nyawane hoped to get.There has been widespread speculation that Bozwana was killed because he had publicly criticised North West premier Supra Mahumapelo and his officials for dishing out contracts to cronies, but at this stage it is unclear if Nyawane will implicate any politically connected figures.Mahumapelo has denied any involvement.This week's dramatic move comes just a day after the docket was moved from junior Gauteng detectives to the Hawks' crimes against the state unit.Based on the confessions and interviews with sources with direct knowledge of the facts, the Sunday Times has been able to piece together the first detailed account of the murder on Friday October 2 in broad daylight in Pretoria.According to the confessions, the hit team comprised five men. Four worked for a taxi association in Alexandra in Johannesburg. They include Sipho Patrick Hudla, whose nickname is Magwaza, and Matamela Robert Mutapa, the two suspects who were arrested in November and made the confessions.The other two are known only as Senzo and Khumalo, the latter a taxi owner who knew Nyawane.A fifth suspect arrived on the scene later but his name is unknown.Hudla and Mutapa claim that at around 10am that Friday, the taxi men were milling about the Alexandra taxi rank when Khumalo got a call. It was Nyawane, who wanted the group to meet him at Sandton City immediately. The alleged hit team piled into a bakkie Khumalo had borrowed from a friend and raced to the mall.story_article_right2They were told to meet outside the Nero hair salon, where Bozwana regularly had his hair cut. Nyawane was waiting for them outside the salon, where Bozwana had arrived minutes earlier with his employee, Mpho Baloyi. They were driving a yellow Renault Clio.Nyawane pointed Bozwana out to the men. He was having his hair cut. "I want that man killed," he allegedly told them. "He's causing big problems for my business."Nyawane left Senzo and Mutapa at Nero's to keep an eye on Bozwana. Hudla and Khumalo were told to follow Nyawane's Golf in their bakkie. They drove to Rivonia Road, Sandton, where a silver BMW M3 with weapons in the boot was waiting. Nyawane told Hudla and Khumalo to get into the BMW, which was being driven by the unknown suspect, who was told to drive the bakkie.One of the men watching Bozwana called to say he was on the move. The other men raced to intercept the Renault as it left the mall and followed it to a nearby McDonald's.The alleged hit team entered the restaurant and spotted their targets having a meal.The men said Nyawane wanted them to kill Bozwana inside the McDonald's as there were hardly any customers, but they weren't comfortable with that.They left after buying soft drinks and remained outside, watching the entrance.When Baloyi's Renault drove out of the parking lot, the alleged hit team driving the BMW and Nyawane in his Golf tailed them onto the M1 highway until they reached the Garsfontein off-ramp in Pretoria.When Baloyi stopped at a robot, Hudla jumped out clutching an AK47 and pumped five rounds into Bozwana. Senzo ran to the driver's side and shot Baloyi, who survived.They then fled, eventually making their way to Hudla's girlfriend's house in Bramley.story_article_left3With Bozwana's body slumped over hers, Baloyi raced from the scene with her hazard lights on and hooter blaring, pulling into the nearest shop, the Glasfit repair centre on Garsfontein Road, for help.They were taken to Netcare Unitas Hospital in Centurion, where Bozwana died hours later.The alleged killers said they met Nyawane later at the KFC restaurant near the Marlboro Gautrain station, where he paid each R12500, promising the rest of their fee later. They handed him the pistol used to shoot Baloyi and the AK47."Well done, guys," he allegedly told them. "This man was standing in my way for tenders."Two days later, Nyawane allegedly collected the BMW from Hudla's girlfriend's house and paid the four men R195000 more in total.On November 18, a detective working the case got a call from an informant: "I know where the guys who killed Bozwana are, " he said.Hawks boss Ntlemeza said the docket was transferred to the elite crimes against the state unit to ensure it was handled "carefully". His men were interrogating Nyawane "to get more information. He will be charged as an accomplice in the murder of Bozwana."Nyawane's lawyer, Victor Nkhwashu, confirmed that he had been asked to hand his client over in connection with Bozwana's murder, but declined to comment on the confessions.investigations@sundaytimes.co.za..

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