PODCAST | Justice Denied, Episode 2: 'Freedom or death' - the choices for a man wrongfully convicted of murder

2019-03-07 07:35
Boswell Mhlongo and his wife Mavis on their wedding day.

Boswell Mhlongo and his wife Mavis on their wedding day.

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WARNING: This podcast contains a brief description of an attempted suicide. 

Imagine spending 13 long years behind bars, for a murder you did not commit.

Boswell Mhlongo doesn’t need to imagine... this living nightmare was his life.

Boswell was accused of killing a policeman in 2000 and sentenced to life imprisonment.

This, despite the fact that investigating officers found no weapon in his possession; none of his fingerprints were found at the crime scene and the victim’s daughter, who witnessed the events, didn’t pick him out in a lineup.

The key piece of evidence linking Boswell to the crime was an out-of-court statement, made by a co-accused – who the North West High Court described as an "unreliable witness" and a "reckless liar".

Boswell, an electronics whizz, spent 13 years behind bars, protesting his innocence.

He lost his home, his job, the support of most of his family and his freedom when he was arrested and later convicted.

"What I’ve lost cannot be regained," Boswell told News24.

In prison he also lost hope.

More than a decade passed before Boswell could appeal his conviction and sentence, all because he and his co-accused could not successfully access their trial transcripts.

Securing those transcripts was the key to his freedom.

Listen on SoundCloud here:

Boswell Mhlongo, justice denied, wrongful convicti

Boswell Mhlongo knows the workings of a car like the back of his hand. (Sharlene Rood, News24)

Boswell Mhlongo, justice denied, wrongful convicti

Boswell and his wife Mavis recently celebrated their third wedding anniversary. Mavis met Boswell while he was still in prison, serving a life sentence at Kgosi Mampuru prison in Pretoria. (Supplied, News24)

Boswell Mhlongo, justice denied, wrongful convicti

Boswell lost 13 years of his life. At the time of his arrest, his career was thriving and he owned a home and a car. (Nokuthula Manyathi, News24)

Mpho, Mavis Mhlongo, Boswell Mhlongo

Mpho, Mavis' oldest daughter who lives in the Free State says Boswell is her best friend. (Nokuthula Manyathi, News24)

Read more on:    mahikeng  |  prisons  |  judiciary  |  podcast
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