Killer of PMB mechanic granted leave to appeal

2015-01-29 00:00

ONE of the two killers of Pietermaritzburg drag race enthusiast Kushendran Acharrie was yesterday granted leave to appeal against his conviction for murder and robbery.

Judge Igna Stretch said the application by Mondli Maphanga was “somewhat belated”.

However, she had previously granted leave to appeal to his co-accused in the case, Solethu Maduna, for the attack on Acharrie and his wife, Pratishta.

The state therefore also did not oppose Maphanga’s application to appeal his convictions on these counts.

Maphanga was refused leave to appeal his convictions on further charges arising from the robbery with aggravating circumstances of another motorist, Lema Abebe, using the gun he stole from Acharrie, and unlawful possession of the semi-automatic Norinco pistol and ammunition.

Stretch also refused to grant him leave to appeal his sentence of life ­imprisonment, plus jail terms totalling 45 years.

Acharrie was shot in front of his wife on the night of October 21, 2010, in St Andrew’s Street outside his garage, Kush Conversions.

He was a qualified BMW mechanic who specialised in modifying vehicles for drag racing.

The couple, who had two children, including a two-month-old baby, had been out celebrating Pratishta’s birthday and stopped briefly outside the business in the early hours.

According to evidence, their specially modified red BMW sports car had attracted the attention of the accused who had followed them with the intention of robbing them.

Pratishta described in court how the robbers shot her husband in his car, dragged him out of the vehicle and dumped him on the road. He was shot while reaching for his gun.

When the attackers failed to start the car, they fled with Pratishta’s cellphone and her husband’s gun.

Seventeen hours later, Maphanga was found to have robbed Abebe of his Toyota Corolla and cellphone at the intersection of Langalibalele and Scott streets.

The stolen car was recovered during a high-speed chase by police in Imbali, which also resulted in Maphanga’s ­arrest.

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