ADDITIONAL CHARGES WORRY JUDGE NKOSI
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.