Drama at High Court as wit­nesses charge at prose­cu­tor

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News/worldwide - Mashudu Net­sianda Se­nior Court Re­porter

A GROUP of about 10 State wit­nesses caused a scene at the Bu­l­awayo High Court yes­ter­day when they charged at a prose­cu­tor han­dling their case and threat­ened to as­sault her.

The an­gry wit­nesses were sup­posed to tes­tify in the trial of Jab­u­lani Ndlovu (34) whose im­age was al­legedly cap­tured on closed cir­cuit tele­vi­sion (CCTV) while killing and rob­bing a se­cu­rity guard at a com­pany in Bu­l­awayo’s Thorn­grove in­dus­trial area.

The trial, which was sup­posed to have started yes­ter­day, failed to kick off due to le­gal tech­ni­cal­i­ties em­a­nat­ing from shoddy in­ves­ti­ga­tions by po­lice.

The prose­cu­tor, Mrs Si­fiso Sibanda, drew the ire of the wit­nesses when she tried to ex­plain why the case could not take off.

It ap­pears the an­gry wit­nesses were not sat­is­fied with the ex­pla­na­tion given by Mrs Sibanda, trig­ger­ing out­bursts.

The wit­nesses, who are rel­a­tives to the slain se­cu­rity guard, Jab­u­lani Madolo, turned emo­tional and started ver­bally at­tack­ing Mrs Sibanda and shov­ing her un­til po­lice came to her res­cue.

“I was sim­ply try­ing to ex­plain to the State wit­nesses why the trial could not take off and they started hurl­ing a bar­rage of in­sults at me, ac­cus­ing me of de­lib­er­ately de­lay­ing the process. They pushed and shoved me un­til po­lice came to my res­cue,” said the vis­i­bly shaken Mrs Sibanda.

The Chron­i­cle wit­nessed the an­gry group, com­pris­ing mostly women, shout­ing at the top of their voices as they left the court build­ing.

One of the women was over­heard say­ing: “I am not afraid of be­ing ar­rested. We are tired of flimsy ex­cuses by these court of­fi­cials.

“Our brother was killed more than a year ago, but jus­tice is be­ing de­lib­er­ately de­layed, we are tired of this non­sense!”

An­other fe­male prose­cu­tor who had ac­com­pa­nied Mrs Sibanda took to her heels soon af­ter the drama had un­folded. She hud­dled in a corner where she watched her col­leagues be­ing ha­rassed from a dis­tance.

Bu­l­awayo High Court judge Jus­tice Maxwell Takuva sub­se­quently re­moved the mat­ter from the roll.

Mrs Sibanda told The Chron­i­cle that the trial was shelved be­cause of poor in­ves­ti­ga­tions by po­lice. She said there was a miss­ing chain of ev­i­dence, which ren­dered the State case use­less and weak.

“We couldn’t pro­ceed with the trial be­cause of some le­gal tech­ni­cal­i­ties. In fact, we re­alised that there were a lot of gaps and miss­ing ev­i­dence hence the mat­ter had to be struck off the roll so that we at­tend to those out­stand­ing is­sues,” she said.

Ac­cord­ing to the State case, on July 2, 2015, at about 6PM, Jab­u­lani Madolo re­ported for duty at Buchu Trad­ing Meat Whole­salers to­gether with a work­mate, Mr In­no­cent Gwama.

The fol­low­ing morn­ing shortly af­ter 1.30AM, Ndlovu al­legedly broke into the com­pany premises and found Madolo man­ning the yard. He al­legedly fa­tally struck Madolo with a four-pound ham­mer be­fore rob­bing him of two cell­phones and $200.

Ndlovu was ar­rested af­ter his im­age was al­legedly cap­tured on the com­pany’s CCTV. — @mash­nets

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