Threats to trial judge

2015-08-12 10:23


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

LIFE sentences were imposed yesterday on three men arising from two murders amidst information that the life of the presiding judge and other court officials had been threatened last week. One murder was a political killing in Estcourt in 2010.

It is unknown from whom the threats emanated.

The Witness was reliably informed that court officials became aware last Friday of a threat made against the lives of high court judge Mohini Moodley, state advocate Ncedile Dunywa, the investigating officer in the case, as well as court interpreter Brenda van Wyk.

The trial was swiftly moved from rural Madadeni to Pietermaritzburg for safety reasons and was concluded yesterday amidst tight security in the Pietermaritzburg high court.

Khumbulani Madlala (25), Msizi Majola (31) and Thembinkosi Makhathini (30) were convicted earlier this month of the politically motivated murder of Mazwi Mnikati on July 21, 2010.

Madlala was also found guilty of the taxi violence-related murder of another councillor, Mcebisi Patrick Duma of iMbabazane Municipality, at Estcourt on February 16, 2011.

The court found that Mnikati’s murder was an act of vengeance due to political tensions within the IFP which led to an attack a few weeks earlier on the brother of one of the accused, Mthembeni Majola, who was left wheelchair-bound.

Mnikati was shot dead at his home in Emabhalonini area near Estcourt after the assassins broke open the door and opened fire on him on July 21, 2010. He died of multiple gunshot wounds to his face, chest and abdomen.

Councillor Duma, at that stage a new member of the NFP, was gunned down in his vehicle near Wembezi township on February 16, 2011.

Sentencing the men to life imprisonment for each of the murders they were respectively convicted of yesterday, Judge Moodley said the kind of justice the accused believed in, namely an “eye for an eye” and “any type of vigilantism” has no place in this country.

Speaking to The Witness after the sentencing, Mthembeni Majola said he and his family plan to appeal the conviction and sentence on behalf of his brother. “We see this as a weak case based only on the evidence of a 204 [accomplice] witness and we are going to appeal,” he said

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  judge  |  trial
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.