Limpopo man acquitted after 10 years in jail

2016-05-24 18:08
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Bloemfontein – A man who was sentenced to life in prison for a crime the Supreme Court of Appeal says he should never have been convicted of, is finally a free man. This after he had already served 10 years in jail.

The Supreme Court of Appeal set aside Marcus Nndateni Mulaudzi's murder and armed robbery conviction on Friday.

Mulaudzi was convicted by the Limpopo High Court on August 22 2006. He was found guilty of murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

He was sentenced to life in prison for murder and 10 years for robbery.

Mulaudzi, along with three other people who were not part of his appeal, were charged with murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and attempted murder at the time.

But the SCA found that the first accused who testified against Mulaudzi was a poor witness who went to "great lengths not only to minimise his role at the expense of the appellant but also to exonerate himself".

It further said the first accused was the only witness who gave incriminating evidence against Mulaudzi at the trial. 

Witness struck in the head

"In my view there is nothing inherently improbable about the appellant's version to warrant its rejection as false beyond reasonable doubt. 

"In the result I am satisfied that the evidence of the first accused was, in its entirety, unworthy of credence for the reasons stated above and thus should not have been relied upon to convict the appellant. The State, therefore, failed to discharge the onus resting on it and the appellant should have been acquitted," the SCA said.

According to evidence by Masindi Ramusetheli, the deceased's mother and also the complainant in relation to the attempted murder, she was disturbed by a commotion that occurred in the garage during the early evening of July 25 2005.

She rushed to the garage and found two men, one of whom was the first accused. At that stage the deceased had already been shot. 

When she tried to intervene, she was struck twice in the head with an iron bar. 

However, during the trial, the first accused alleged that he was party to a conspiracy involving his co-accused in terms of which it was agreed that they would rob the deceased of his money. 

He alleged that his role was to point out the deceased's homestead to the second and third accused, Mulaudzi, while the fourth accused's role was to supply the firearm to be used during the robbery.

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  crime

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