Court dismisses appeal for murder of BMW mechanic

2015-11-06 10:31

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Pietermaritzburg - A full bench of the Pietermaritzburg high court has dismissed an appeal by two men found guilty of murdering well-known businessman Kushendran Acharrie in 2010.

Mondli Maphanga and Solethu Maduna are serving sentences of life imprisonment for Acharrie’s murder plus lengthy terms for other crimes, including robbery.

The sentences all run concurrently with the life term.

Acharrie, a qualified BMW mechanic who specialised in modifying cars for drag racing, was gunned down on October 20, 2010, during an evening out celebrating his wife Pratishta’s birthday. The shooting took place in St Andrew’s Street outside his garage, Kush Conversions. According to evidence the couple’s specially modified red BMW sports car had attracted the attention of the accused at a garage. They then followed the couple with the intention of robbing them.

Pratishta Acharrie saw the robbers shoot her husband as he reached for his own gun, drag him from the car and dump his body on the road.

The attackers were unable to start the BMW and eventually fled with Acharrie’s gun and his wife’s cellphone.

Appeal court judges Shyam Gyanda, Themba Sishi and Acting Judge Venesen Naidoo said in a reserved judgment handed down yesterday that both Maphanga and Maduna had been “untruthful and unimpressive witnesses”.

The full bench said the evidence given by the two men was “fraught with improbabilities of such a high degree that it could safely be accepted as false”.

Their evidence had been riddled with contradictions and they even contradicted what was put to state witnesses by their own counsel, the judges said.

They found the trial court had been right to reject the alibi defences of both the men and to accept the evidence of an accomplice, Moreoa Molefe.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  court

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