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Court Rejects Hitmen’s Bail Application Amid Murder Conspiracy Claims

Court Rejects Hitmen's Bail Application Amid Murder Conspiracy Claims

The five alleged hitmen, said to have been hired by a businessman to eliminate his business rival, faced a significant setback as a magistrate dismissed their application opposing placement on remand.

The group, consisting of Moses Monde from Johannesburg, along with Malvin Manzinde, Malvin Tatenda Nyamuranga, Norbert Muponda, and Joshua Mapuranga, based in Cape Town, appeared in court last week, initially charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

They lodged an application contesting their remand, arguing that the State lacked reasonable suspicion of their involvement in the offense.

However, in his ruling, presiding magistrate Stanford Mambanje noted that the State had indeed established reasonable suspicion that a plot to harm the complainant was in progress, despite its lack of fruition.

“This ruling concerns an application challenging placement on remand filed by the five accused persons, in which they contended that there was insufficient evidence to suggest they had traveled from South Africa to harm the complainant. They questioned how the complainant dared to accuse them of plotting his murder if such a plan truly existed.”

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He elaborated further:

“Every individual holds the right to liberty, which can be restricted when one is suspected of or has committed an offense. Such limitations are only justified when the facts outlined in the State’s documents indicate a criminal offense that can be attributed to the accused individual.

“At this stage, we are not seeking high-quality evidence; reasonable suspicion suffices, grounded on plausible grounds. It begs the question whether the complainant would randomly select strangers and accuse them of plotting his murder without a reasonable basis.

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“There is reasonable suspicion of a plot, albeit one that didn’t materialize. This isn’t a product of the complainant’s imagination; it holds substance. While it falls short of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, reasonable suspicion exists, and the State isn’t required to prove the charges at this juncture.”

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The group is scheduled to return to court on Tuesday to pursue their bail application.

The underlying circumstances reveal that the alleged mastermind, Obrian Obert Mapurisa, who is currently at large, purportedly entered an agreement to purchase Liquified Petroleum gas tankers in Turkey with Oliver Tendai Chipindu. However, owing to misrepresentation, Chipindu provided Mapurisa with a cash sum of US$800,000 for the acquisition of seven Liquified Petroleum gas tankers.

Mapurisa subsequently failed to deliver the tankers and allegedly sought the services of the five individuals to eliminate Chipindu.

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