Esigodini gold barons freed
TWO gold barons from Esigodini who were facing charges of inciting pubic violence have been acquitted.
They were said to be leaders of rival groups that were involved in a seven-hour street fight in Habane suburb over the control of goldfields recently.
Brian Dube (45) and Mthulisi Ngwenya (36) were arrested in July and spent six days in remand prison awaiting bail, for allegedly inciting their rival groups to engage in public violence.
They were waiting for trial when Esigodini resident magistrate, Mr Lungile Ncube, withdrew the matter before plea on Monday.
The charges were withdrawn at the behest of the State as it failed to sustain its case against the two gold barons and their four alleged workers.
There were no witnesses to testify against the pair and their alleged followers. Last week the trial failed to start in Gwanda.
Charges against the pair and their followers were that on July 28, they were involved in skirmishes at Habane business centre over the control of goldfields.
The fight arose between illegal gold panners from Filabusi who were allegedly led by Dube while the other miners from Nkayi were said to be led by Ngwenya.
The rampage went on for about seven hours before the police managed to control the situation.
A number of gold panners were arrested including Dube and Ngwenya who were said to be the ringleaders.
Dube was granted $800 bail while Ngwenya paid $300, which they collected yesterday after their charges were thrown out.