Court acquits brothers on 8 charges

2008-08-17 00:00

A High court judge in Pietermaritzburg has acquitted four brothers from Msinga in connection with eight charges, including the murder of a 60-year-old woman whom they had allegedly suspected of bewitching their late mother.

They were also acquitted of the attempted murder of a Tugela Ferry policeman who was among police who allegedly sought to arrest them in 2005.

The four are Sibangani Amon Mngoma (25), Phumlani Hlwehlwe Xaba (23), Mzothule Lucas Mngoma (23) and Musawenkosi Mngoma (26).

One of the brothers, Mzothule Mngoma, was found guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition and sentenced to four years’ jail, of which two years were conditionally suspended.

Acquitting the men of all the other offences, acting Judge Hajra Vahed said of the murder of Busisiwe Matrina Lembethe that the evidence did not show who had shot and wounded the victim on the night of February 20, 2005.

The only evidence led with regard to her subsequent murder on March 15, 2005, was a post-mortem confirming her death and photographs of the scene.

Concerning the alleged murder of Tugela Ferry policeman Inspector Zebedeus Jabulani Ntuli, and the attempted murder of his colleagues on March 18, 2005, she said the shooting occurred before sunrise.

None of the witnesses was able to positively identify any of the suspects.

There was also no ballistics evidence linking the accused to any of the offences.

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