CAPE ARGUS, ARTICLE BY WARDA MEYER & NATASHA PRINCE
A well-known South African musician appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court yesterday in connection with the theft of a Porsche. Lucky Shabangu, from the 1990s R&B boy band Twins, who was well known for the hit Shona Phansi, was arrested and charged in connection with the theft of the luxury car, worth almost R1million, in the city. The 39-year-old briefly appeared in court with co-accused, 35-year-old Thobani Pascal Makuzeni. Constable Noloyiso Rwexana said the pair were arrested on Friday after allegedly being found in possession of the stolen vehicle. They were remanded. Shabangu had supplied an address in Hyde Park, Joburg, where he lives with his wife and children and which the State had yet to verify. Makuzeni had initially provided an address in Albert Road, Woodstock, but when investigators sought to confirm his residence they discovered it was his work place. He then provided a second address in Table View where he lived. It emerged in court that Shabangu was also being sought in a theft case registered at Sea Point Police Station. The State asked that the matter be postponed for seven days in order for them to obtain more information. But the pair’s attorney, Andre Johnston, opposed the postponement, arguing that investigators had sufficient time since the arrest to gather information. He added that a telephone call to Sea Point police station would have confirmed details regarding the Sea Point theft case. “This seven day postponement is abused by the State in most instances,” Johnston argued. He said Makuzeni had no previous convictions, no pending cases and no outstanding warrants of arrest, while Shabangu had one previous conviction related to 2009. “That information is actually available on the internet,” he said, adding that he had no pending matters and no outstanding warrants of arrest. However, the State said an initial search on his personal details revealed that Shanbangu had been arrested at least 19 times, and had six previous convictions. Prosecutors said the fingerprints would assist in confirming his previous convictions. Shabangu was a musician from a popular group called Twins, which earned two Samas, the court heard. Johnston wanted to hand in affidavits signed by his clients, and challenged the State to refute the information” considering that they had three days to get the information.” It also emerged that Makuzeni was found in possession of the Porsche, which had been reported stolen last year. “The SAPS were provided with an alibi,” argued Johnston, “how do you steal a Porsche in this time of technology? This is different from finding someone with a hot-wired car, wandering around.” The State said investigators were viewing video footage allegedly involving Shabangu in relation to the Sea Point case. Acting magistrate Grant Engel questioned why Makuzeni could not be granted bail. The State said investigators were viewing video footage allegedly involving Shabangu in relation to the Sea Point case. Acting magistrate Grant Engel questioned why Makuzeni could not be granted bail. The State said they wanted to verify with Home Affairs whether or not he was a South African citizen. But Johnston argued: “This is unnecessary. They (the State) have the information, they’re basically on a fishing expedition now – don’t let them trample on the accused’s rights. Don’t let them trample on our democracy.” Engel said that the court was unable to make a decision regarding bail with the information received, and granted a postponement. Sources have told the Cape Argus that Shabangu was well connected and was known for name dropping. He has been pictured with, amongst others, President Jacob Zuma, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and other cabinet ministers. The Cape Argus is also in possession of correspondence in which Shabangu purports to be the son of a former minister of police. Shabangu and Makuzeni were expected back in court on Friday.