Mpuma man accused of electrocution

2013-07-03 21:11

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Mbombela - An Mpumalanga man pleaded not guilty to murdering a man by electrocuting him in 2011, in the Nelspruit Regional Court on Wednesday.

A Sapa correspondent reported that Elijah Mthethwa, 38, of Masoyi near Hazyview, was arrested in October 2011 following the death of Nkosikhona Petros Nkosi.

Nkosi was electrocuted when he touched a perimeter fence at Mthethwa's home on 5 October 2011.

State witness Constable Reuben Mathebula, from the Masoyi police station, told the court he was the first police officer at the scene.

"I found the body of the deceased lying face up, with both his hands holding to a wire from the perimeter fence of the accused's [Mthethwa's] house," he testified.

"After examining the body carefully, without touching it, I discovered it had burn wounds. I then called the EMS personnel and on arrival, they said he had been electrocuted and was certified dead."

Mathebula said Mthethwa's wife Paulina Mokoena led him into the house's yard.

After examining the crime scene, he found an electric cable connected to the perimeter fence.

"The cable was coming from the accused's house. When I went inside to check, I found that the cable was plugged into the electric meter box on the wall.

"When I asked who connected it, Mokoena replied that it was her husband, the accused," Mathebula said.

He said he opened an inquest docket while another police officer took a statement from Mokoena.

Nkosi was electrocuted behind the yard. The cable was not visible because it was underground, the court heard.

"The accused was not present at the time. Mokoena said he was at work," Mathebula said.

On Wednesday, the court called Mokoena to the witness box, but she was nowhere to be found. Prosecutor Michael Mazibuko asked the court to issue a warrant for her arrest as she had been present earlier, when the trial began.

"She was here your worship, and I even consulted with her," Mazibuko said.

Magistrate Eddie Hall issued a warrant for Mokoena's arrest.

Mthethwa is out on a warning.

The case was postponed to 25 July.

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