‘Frus­trat­ing my clients leaves a lot to be de­sired’

Swazi Observer - - NATIONAL NEWS -

DE­FENCE at­tor­ney Machawe Sithole says the man­ner in which the crown is frus­trat­ing his clients by adding more charges leaves a lot to be de­sired.

Sithole is rep­re­sent­ing the four suspect rhino poach­ers.

He made this sub­mis­sion on Wed­nes­day be­fore Judge Nkosi as he said the charges that amount to 14 pre­ferred against his clients did not form part of the ini­tial charge of Con­tra­ven­ing the Game Act.

Sithole said the in­clu­sion of the other charges were not in any way rel­e­vant to the charge of Con­tra­ven­ing the Game Act, as such should not have been added by the crown. He said the first ac­cused per­son Stan­ley Nh­lakalufu stated clearly in his af­fi­davit when mak­ing his bail ap­pli­ca­tion at the Mag­is­trate Court’s as to what tran­spired in the whole at­tempted poach­ing deal.

Sithole said his clients were not at the scene of crime when the shoot­ing hap­pened and fur­ther that one of his clients who was shot at the scene cheated death him­self as he was shot by the rangers and po­lice, only to be now charged to­gether with the three for the mur­der of their col­leagues.

“My Lord the man­ner in which the crown is frus­trat­ing my clients by adding more charges leaves a lot to be de­sired as the charges added are not at all rel­e­vant to the charge of the al­leged poach­ing,” Sithole sub­mit­ted.

Bail

The three suspect rhino poach­ers, who have filed an ur­gent ap­pli­ca­tion for bail at the High Court, have had more charges added by the crown as they are now fac­ing se­ri­ous charges of Con­tra­ven­ing the Preven­tion of Ter­ror­ism Act.

To add on that, the crown has also added an­other of Con­tra­ven­ing the Preven­tion of Cor­rup­tion Act 2006, in that they al­legedly col­luded with Fana Mbatha, the ranger, in gain­ing ac­cess to the game park in or­der to poach a rhino.

They are also charged with the mur­der of the two Mozam­bi­can na­tion­als who were killed dur­ing the al­leged poach­ing. Ac­cord­ing to the amended charged sheet, the four sus­pects are guilty of the crime of Con­tra­ven­ing the Preven­tion of Ter­ror­ism Act and that of Con­tra­ven­ing the Preven­tion of Cor­rup­tion Act 2006, amongst eight more counts added by the crown.

Shoot­ing

Al­though the four sus­pects were not the ones who killed their two coun­ter­parts dur­ing the al­leged shoot­ing, the do­lus even­crown sub­mit­ted that in a tu­alis case, the four are guilty of the charge of mur­der since the two would not have been killed had they (ac­cused per­sons) not be the ones or­ches­trat­ing the poach­ing.

Mean­while, the three will know their fate to­day as Judge Nkosi post­poned the mat­ter for fi­nal ar­gu­ments. He said this was the last and fi­nal post­pone­ment given to al­low the crown to file its pa­pers and or­dered that by yes­ter­day at 1630 hours, the crown should have filed same and the de­fence ready to fi­nalise the mat­ter.

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