Guard gets 15 years for shooting

2011-07-01 00:00

SECURITY guard Emmanuel Baba Gwala (32) was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment by high court Judge Isaac Madondo yesterday. He pleaded guilty to shooting dead a fellow employee at Darby Meats in Northdale on June 16 without any provocation.

Gwala pleaded guilty to the murder of Malawian James Ali (28) by shooting him in the right side of his head as Ali was walking away from him.

He said in a statement read to court by his advocate, Brad Osborne, that he was extremely remorseful for his actions and begged the court’s mercy.

Gwala said he was working as a security guard for Community Watch Security at Darby Meats in the Debi Place Market.

He had to search the staff as they arrived, and that day he argued with a worker, Doctor Jeffrey, about the way he had searched him. “I concede that I searched him in a manner which was rough and caused him unnecessary discomfort,” said Gwala.

He said Ali intervened. This upset him and Gwala told Ali that if he had a problem they should “go outside and deal with it like men”.

“[Ali] turned around and began to walk away, whereupon I drew my firearm from my waist, cocked it, and fired one shot which struck the deceased on the right side of his head, causing his death.”

Gwala said police were contacted immediately and he was arrested and charged with murder.

Osborne urged the court to impose a sentence that would “focus on rehabilitation rather than retribution” and said the shooting was an “act of impulsiveness”.

Judge Madondo took into account that Gwala had shown remorse and co-operated with the police from the time of his arrest.

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