Magistrate jails detective, faces arrest
ESIGODINI magistrate Mr Lungile Ncube is facing arrest for allegedly illegally incarcerating a detective.
The cop had come to court to ask for extended time to pay a fine for assaulting a suspect.
Leeroy Mahunje, the detective, reported the case of criminal abuse of office against Mr Ncube at Gwanda police station CR number 57/09/16.
He wants the magistrate to be tried for illegally sending him to prison for six days, two days before the deadline to pay his fine had elapsed.
The detective argues that he was not in default of payment.
Det Mahunje has also lodged a complaint with the Judicial Service Commission against Mr Ncube’s conduct.
In his letter to the JSC he said he and two other detectives whom he did not name were charged with assaulting a suspect who had broken into a house in Gwanda.
Mr Ncube fined each of them $600 or six months in prison after a full trial. Det Mahunje paid $100 on June 29. “I then applied for an extension up to August 31 to pay. My time sheet was duly endorsed by the resident magistrate, Mr Lungile Ncube,” wrote Det Mahunje.
“On July 29 I proceeded to Esigodini Magistrates’ Courts to pay $100, which amount was duly receipted under receipt number 333640. I applied for further time to pay. It will be noted that the date I had been given for full payment was July 31, 2016, which date fell on a Sunday.
“The court does not sit on a Sunday and banks’ maximum withdrawal limit is $100.”
He said Mr Ncube inquired from him why he had not paid and he explained the reasons but the magistrate was not amused.
“He decided that I should serve the alternative sentence and thus committed me to prison, two days before the due date he had extended to me,” said the detective. “Accordingly, when I was jailed I had two days to look for the full amount and pay it to the court. I was in prison for five days,” he wrote.
“Meanwhile, on July 30, 2016, my relatives had raised the full amount ($400) that was outstanding but could not pay it at court as I had already been jailed.”
Det Mahunje said when Mr Ncube jailed him he was fully aware of the fact that he and his co-accused had noted an appeal against conviction at the Bulawayo High Court under cover HCA76-9/16.
He said he was eventually released on bail pending appeal despite the fact the appeal was lodged before his incarceration.— @richardmuponde