A policeman who stood trial for the murder of his wife in Napierville was on Tuesday exonerated by the Pietermaritzburg high court.
While Nkosinathi Shangase was delighted by his acquittal, sadness swept across the faces of Thabisile Doyisa’s family and friends.
They were too distraught to share their thoughts.
Shangase said he was glad the trial is over.
His attorney Carl Johnson said, “It’s been a long arduous journey for Shangase. We are all pleased that the court has come to the correct decision on the available evidence.”
It was alleged that Shangase shot his wife, a nurse, outside their home with an R5 rifle in April 2016.
The incident happened just after she had returned home from work at about 7 pm.
Acting Judge Xolile Ntshulana gave a comprehensive judgment outlining what all the witnesses and Shangase had told the court, and his findings.
He said he was asked by the state to infer that Shangase was guilty based on evidence that he and his wife had argued the day before she was killed and Shangase took out his firearm from the safe.
Also, a man of similar build to Shangase was seen walking away from the murder scene, and when Shangase returned home that night, he did not go to where his wife was lying on the ground, yet her blood was found on his shoe.
The judge said that the only proven fact was that there was blood on his shoes. No gunpowder residue was found on his hands.
The judge further said the crime scene was badly handled by police.
Judge Ntshulana said that Shangase’s version was that he walked to an Engen garage to buy bread and withdraw money. When he arrived home, he carried an Engen packet with bread in it.
State witnesses could not dispute that Shangase was at the Engen garage around the time of the shooting.
They could not dispute what he had said as there was a receipt and bank invoice in the packet reflecting what time he had been there.
Also, an investigating officer from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate was not called to testify about video footage at the Engen.
Apparently it did not show that Shangase was there.
The judge said he had reservations if the footage exists. He said the state had the opportunity to disprove Shangase’s alibi but did not do so.