Orlando Pirates captain Thabo Matlaba's father was yesterday described as a serial offender with previous convictions and a pending case against him.

Testifying in the bail application of Kalubi Hezekiel Matlaba, who appeared for murder in the Phalala Magistrate's Court near Lephalale in Limpopo yesterday, investigating officer Warrant Officer Norman Mboweni said Matlaba had been convicted three times on assault charges.

He said the 63-year-old also had a pending case of arson which was on trial in the Lephalale Regional Court.

Mboweni said Matlaba was convicted in 1978, 1982, and in 2008, with the latter conviction happening in Dennilton, Mpumalanga.

Matlaba stands accused of killing William Mafokwane, a 29-year-old man from his home village of Senita in Bakenberg, Mokopane. Mafokwane died in hospital in Lephalale last Monday, a day after he was attacked with a knife.

The 63-year-old had been on the run after he allegedly stabbed William Mafokwane to death in Senita village. The two were allegedly fighting over a talented prostitute with whom Mafokwane had fathered a baby girl.

Police spokesman Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said Matlaba had fled to Tembisa in Gauteng but that his son, the Buccaneers’ defender, handed him over to the police in Villa Nora on Tuesday afternoon.

“Matlaba appeared in court together with his [alleged] accomplice Seliki Right Mabokela, 76, for the murder of Mafokwane," Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said.

Matlaba appeared in court alongside co-accused Seleki Right Mabokela, 76. Both face murder and pointing of firearm charges.

According to the victim’s sister Sarah Mafokwane, Matlaba had entered their home on Sunday afternoon in a fit of rage, demanding to see her brother.

He allegedly threatened to wipe out the whole family if he did not find the 29-year-old man. She said he claimed Mafokwane had kicked him on the chin.

Upon leaving the home of the victim, Matlaba reportedly met Mafokwane along the street and stabbed him with a knife.

Police did not oppose bail, despite officer Mboweni telling Magistrate Matthews Pila that Matlaba fled to Tembisa, east of Johannesburg, after the stabbing.

"The two are well-known figures in the community of Senita and I do not forsee any problems if they were to be granted bail," Mboweni said.

Matlaba's lawyer, Sonti Maphoto, said he did not know of any witnesses on the murder case against his client.

"My client is unemployed and helps in grooming soccer players in the community. He has no travel documents and has no relatives outside of the Republic of South Africa," argued Maphoto.

Mboweni said the accused had shown remorse during his investigation.

He said the firearm that was pointed at the deceased had since been handed over to the police, adding that the state had a strong case against the two accused.

The court confirmed that they faced schedule six offences. Matlaba and Mabokela were each granted bail of R1000 and the matter was postponed to next month.

The victim’s 50-year-old mother, Jekina Mafokwane, said: “The people responsible for killing my son have caused an unbearable pain to me and the entire family. They must rot in jail.”


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