Two men from KwaZulu-Natal who are accused of murdering lawyer Pete Mihalik and injuring his minor son made a brief appearance in a heavily-guarded Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
Sizwe Biyela, 26, and Nkosinathi Khumalo, 31, both short in stature and dressed in shirts and jeans, were brought up to the dock by members of the police’s anti-gang unit.
They were charged a day after Mihalik, 50, was shot dead outside Reddam House Atlantic Seaboard school in Green Point as he drove up to the school in his Mercedes-Benz on Tuesday morning.
The son is understood to be out of danger. He sustained a wound to the jaw.
Speaking after the court was swept for dangers by the anti-gang unit, seasoned prosecutor Helene Booysen said it was their case that the murder was premeditated and that Schedule 6 applied.
She said one of the men had been out on bail for a serious charge at the time of the shooting.
NPA regional spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila clarified outside court: “We understand one of the two accused is out on bail on another matter which happened out[side] of this province. I think it is another serious matter related to a murder charge.”
The State asked for a week’s postponement so they could check the particulars of the accused.
According to the brief charge sheet, which media has seen, the men are accused of murder, attempted murder, possession of an unlicensed firearm and possession of ammunition.
On the murder count, the State says “Peter Frederich Mihalik” was shot in the head and that the murder was committed in furtherance of a common purpose or conspiracy.
They said his son, who cannot be named because he is a minor, was injured in the face/head. The attempted murder charge did not have a common purpose clause attached to it.
The accused were in possession of a 9mm firearm, “the further details of which are unknown to the State” and an unknown number of 9mm calibre rounds, the charge sheet reads.
Biyela, speaking through a Zulu interpreter, said that he had not had a chance to call home but would use a Legal Aid lawyer. Khumalo was granted time to arrange a private lawyer.
The case was postponed until November 8.
Booysen said the men would be kept in custody at Sea Point police station because there was a chance they might be attacked if kept at a prison such as Pollsmoor.
Two men were initially taken in for questioning after a suspect was seen fleeing the scene in a metallic grey VW Polo.
A family living near the crime scene, who asked not to be identified, said at the time they heard the shots and saw the shooter.
“I looked over there and saw a big silver gun. It actually almost looked like a toy gun because he was so calm about it,” the mother of that family told media.
She said the shooter seemed to hide his gun behind a briefcase as he walked quickly away from the scene and got into a vehicle.
Specialist police teams had spent hours combing the scene for forensic evidence before Mihalik’s covered body was taken away in a van.
It was reported on Tuesday that Mihalik was deeply involved in the gangster underworld of Cape Town and was believed to have acted as a “facilitator” between business and gangsters.
His father Janos Mihalik said at the time that he was shocked when he saw the news on television.
He said his son sometimes had arguments with clients about payment for his services.”He took these cases on and agreed on the fee. I think it was a fight about money.