Marikana activist Napoleon Webster acquitted of murder after State fails to produce evidence

2018-05-22 15:37
Napoleon Webster (YouTube screen grab)

Napoleon Webster (YouTube screen grab)

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Marikana and housing activist Napoleon Webster criticised the media, calling it ‘the darling of Cyril Ramaphosa’ at the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa centre on Wednesday. Watch. WATCH

The North West High Court has acquitted Marikana housing and land rights activist Napoleon Webster of murder, the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) said in a statement on Tuesday.

The institute said Justice Ronnie Hendricks discharged and acquitted Webster of the murder of Petrus Sabata after the prosecution failed to produce evidence that linked him to the killing.

"The State's failure to produce any evidence linking Napoleon Webster to this offence is clear evidence that this prosecution was brought .... to stifle legitimate dissent in Marikana," said Lindokuhle Mdabe, an attorney at SERI who represented Webster.

"The prosecution and the way it has been pursued, is yet another example of the abuse of the criminal justice system in aid of silencing the real and legitimate grievances of people living in poor communities across South Africa," Mdabe added.

ALSO READ: They tried to kill me twice in prison - Marikana activist

Sabata was killed in Marikana on December 8, 2016.

SERI said prosecutors conceded that Webster was entitled to an acquittal and accepted that the State had failed to establish his involvement in the murder.  

"The State also accepted that the witnesses who implicated Webster had testified out of malice and lacked any credibility.

"Despite there being no evidence that Webster committed any offence, he was detained in a Rustenburg prison in 2017 for over 202 days after the Rustenburg Magistrate's Court refused his bail application."

Attempts to reach Webster for comment were unsuccessful.

Read more on:    crime  |  marikana

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