Two acquitted of taxi man’s murder

2015-04-23 00:00

TWO men — Siyanda Ncgobo (20) and Mzwandile ­Shelembe (18) — have been acquitted of the murder of Pietermaritzburg taxi driver Trevor Mbele, but continue to face a charge of robbery.

Mbele was stabbed to death and robbed of his vehicle, money and cellphone, at Nhlazatshe outside Pietermaritzburg on June 7 last year.

Judge Nompumelelo Radebe accepted arguments by defence advocate Veli Sibeko and attorney Viren Naidoo that there was insufficient evidence on which the court could convict their clients of murder, based only on the evidence of the single witness called by the state, Sabelo Mkhize.

While not giving reasons at this stage, the judge acquitted Ngcobo and Shelembe of murder but ruled that they have a case to answer in respect of the robbery charge.

State advocate Dheelan Naidoo told the court that two accomplice witnesses — both of whom are already serving jail terms for their respective roles in the murder and robbery of Mbele — were expected to testify for the prosecution but had a change of heart.

Both of them — Zamokuhle Dlamini (who pleaded guilty to murder and robbery last week) and Phumlani Mcimbi (who pleaded guilty to robbery arising from the incident) — might now be called as witnesses for the defence.

The case is proceeding.

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