Swazi Observer - - NATIONAL NEWS - Sto­ries by Sandile Nkam­bule

HIGH Court Judge Sipho Nkosi has ex­pressed con­cern over the ad­di­tional charges of mur­der in­sti­tuted by the crown in its amended charge sheet for the four suspect rhino poach­ers.

Judge Nkosi, who was sup­posed to hear the ur­gent bail ap­pli­ca­tion filed by three of the sus­pects, won­dered from the crown as to how the four sus­pects; Stan­ley Nh­lakalufu, Isaac Mkha­bela, Muzi Dlamini and Sipho Mh­langa have now been charged with the mur­der of two sus­pected poach­ers they were with in the al­leged poach­ing.

This, after he noted that the shoot­ing that re­sulted in the death of two Mozam­bi­can na­tion­als who were al­legedly part of the team of poach­ers, was di­rectly made by the rangers and the po­lice of­fi­cers.

He or­dered the crown rep­re­sented by Crown Coun­sel Pa­trick Mkhatshwa to as­sist the court in giv­ing ev­i­dence that the suspect poach­ers were di­rectly in­volved in the mur­der of their col­leagues as seem­ingly none such has been brought be­fore court.

Judge Nkosi or­dered that Mkhatjwa files his heads of ar­gu­ment to­gether with a bun­dle of au­thor­i­ties that would have cases that in­di­cates that the sus­pects are di­rectly and not in­di­rectly linked with the killing of their col­leagues.

This was after Mkhatshwa had sub­mit­ted that he has au­thor­i­ties to sup­port the link of the sus­pects with mur­der in do­lus even­tu­alis a sce­nario.

For pur­poses of the bail ap­pli­ca­tion, the court stated that it is not con­vinced that the ranger Fana Mbatha was not part of the al­leged poach­ing as he could not have con­ducted a one-man sting op­er­a­tion.

Judge Nkosi fur­ther stated that the charge of mur­der is more con­fus­ing to the court as the de­ceased per­sons were shot and killed by the rangers and the po­lice at Hlane.

The crown ar­gued that the two Mozam­bi­can na­tion­als would not have been killed had the four sus­pects not been part of the rhino poach­ing deal and were present at the scene.

WOR­RIED: Judge Sipho Nkosi.

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