Magistrate appeals murder conviction

2015-04-29 00:00

A FORMER Umlazi magistrate who was convicted of attempting to murder his wife by hitting her with an axe, has lodged an appeal against his conviction and 10-year jail sentence in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

High court appeal judges have reserved judgment in the case and will hand down their written decision in due course.

The appeal on behalf of the magistrate Themba Michael Masinga is based on submissions that the state failed to comply with a directive in terms of the National Prosecuting Authority Act, which stipulates that a prosecutor must obtain written authorisation from the Director of Public Prosecutions to institute a prosecution against a magistrate.

In reply, the state has argued that even though senior public prosecutor Lucrecia Dlamini did not deny not having written authorisation from the DPP, she says that she acted on a verbal authorisation given by then Acting DPP C S Mlotshwa.

It was also argued that the irregularity — if it existed — had not in any way prejudiced Masinga or resulted in an unfair trial.

Masinga was found guilty of ­attempting to murder his estranged wife, Nompumelelo Masinga at the couple’s home in Woodlands in March 2009.

The trial magistrate found that 53-year-old Masinga had hit his wife on the head with an axe, kicked her, called her a “dog” and shouted, “Aren’t you dead yet?” at her.

The evidence was that he was living in an outbuilding on the property at the time. On the evening in question, he had brought another woman home, enraging his wife.

She then admittedly threw potatoes and onions at the window, after which Masinga came out with an axe and attacked her.

Nompumumulelo sustained three deep wounds to her head, was hospitalised for six days and suffered excruciating headaches as a result of the incident.

The trial magistrate found this was not the first time Masinga had attacked his wife, who had previously obtained a protection order against him.

At his trial, Masinga pleaded not guilty and maintained his wife and daughter had fabricated evidence against him.

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