The man accused of killing businessman Ben Gumbi has told the court he was paid R15,000 to drive from Johannesburg to Rustenburg where the murder happened.
Sibongiseni Ngubane appeared in the Rustenburg magistrate’s court on Monday to apply for bail. He is charged with the murder of Gumbi who was shot dead by two men in front of Platō Coffee in the Rustenburg CBD on August 23.
Ngubane told the court he was a Bolt driver who usually used a Toyota Yaris to ferry passengers in Gauteng. On the day of the incident he had received a call from his friend Sibiya to transport people from Johannesburg to Rustenburg.
His passengers gave him a blue VW Polo to use for the trip to North West.
“They told me that I must leave my car and get inside another car … They did not tell me what kind of a job we’d be doing in Rustenburg,” said Ngubane when asked by the prosecutor about the car, which the state has since established was stolen and had fake registration plates.
Ngubane said the Polo was dumped in Rustenburg and they switched to a Toyota Corolla Quest, which was driven by someone else back to Johannesburg.
The prosecutor asked him why he did not question the change of cars to which Ngubane responded: “It did not come to my mind to inquire from them. That surprised me but it only passed my mind later to inquire but I did not ask.”
Ngubane said he was not immediately paid for the trip and called Sibiya the following day to inquire about payment.
“He [Sibiya] said I must come to town in Johannesburg. He came and said ‘here’s your parcel’. It was R15,000 and that shocked me. It was just that thing where I had to accept what had happened,” said Ngubane.
A single Bolt trip from Johannesburg to Rustenburg usually costs about R2,000.
Ngubane has a pending case of possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition in Alberton, Ekurhuleni, where he was granted R1,000 bail. He is also facing a cash-in-transit robbery charge, for which he also received bail in Germiston before he was arrested for Gumbi’s murder last month. His bail conditions included that he should not get involved in criminal activities and not be caught in possession of a firearm.
“You were given bail twice but that did not stop you twice from committing crime, do you not see a problem in that?” asked the prosecutor.
“I contravened the conditions I was given and I apologise for that. I promise to this court that I will never do it again. I don’t recall being told what would happen if I went against the conditions but that if I don’t attend my cases or show up at the Alberton police station to sign then I would be arrested,” said Ngubane.
The court is expected to make a ruling on his bail application later this week.