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Hitmen’s Bid to Avoid Remand Denied: Magistrate Cites Reasonable Suspicion in Murder Plot Case

Five alleged hitmen, reportedly hired by a businessman to eliminate his business rival, faced a setback as a magistrate dismissed their request to avoid remand.

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

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They contested their remand, arguing that the State lacked sufficient evidence of their involvement.

However, the presiding magistrate, Stanford Mambanje, ruled that the State had presented enough evidence to justify suspicion of their involvement in a murder plot against the complainant, despite no concrete outcomes being achieved.

“This is a ruling for an application challenging placement on remand that was filed by the five accused persons in which they argued that there was no evidence that was showing that they travelled from South Africa to kill the  complainant.

“They questioned where he got the guts to lure his would-be executors if there was, indeed, a plan to murder him.”

He added:

“Every person has the right to liberty which can be limited after one is about to or has committed an offence.

“The only justification is when the fact alleged in the State’s papers disclose a criminal offence known at law which should be linked to the accused person in question.

“At this stage, we are not looking for high quality evidence, suspicion based on quality grounds.

“A reasonable mind would question if the complainant would make a random pick of strangers and accuse  them of planning to kill him without a reasonable explanation.

“There’s reasonable suspicion that there was a plot which, unfortunately, didn’t yield results and this isn’t the complainant’s loose imagination, it doesn’t sound like one.

“While it’s not proof beyond reasonable doubt at this stage, there’s reasonable suspicion, the State doesn’t need to prove the charges at this stage.”

The gang will return to court on Tuesday to submit their bail application.

In a nutshell, the purported ringleader Obrian Obert Mapurisa, currently evading authorities, engaged in an agreement with Oliver Tendai Chipindu to procure liquefied petroleum gas tankers from Turkey.

Under false pretenses, Chipindu handed over $800,000 to Mapurisa for the purchase of seven tankers. However, Mapurisa reneged on the deal, subsequently contracting the five assassins to eliminate Chipindu.

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