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5 Chief Ndiweni supporters acquitted

by Staff reporter
14 Sep 2019 at 07:14hrs | Views
FIVE Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) activists who were arrested for allegedly dancing and singing derogatory songs with tribal connotations outside the Bulawayo High Court while celebrating the release of Chief Felix Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni on bail, were yesterday acquitted.

Partone Xaba (43) of Nkulumane, Akim Ndebele (32) of Cowdray Park, Ndabazelizwe Ncube (28) of Mzilikazi and Mongameli Mlotshwa (33) of Magwegwe West appeared before Bulawayo magistrate, Ms Adelaide Mbeure, facing charges of disorderly conduct in violation of Section 4(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

They were discharged at the close of the State case after the magistrate ruled that there was no evidence linking them to the alleged offence.

In acquitting the five accused persons, Ms Mbeure said the State failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.  

"From the evidence before the court, the State has failed to prove a prima facie case against the accused persons and I hereby retain a verdict of not guilty and accordingly, they are acquitted," ruled Ms Mbeure.

She said the State failed to produce the alleged video clips showing the accused person dancing and singing derogatory songs while carrying placards as evidence.

Their discharge follows an application by their lawyer Mr Dumisani Dube of Mathonsi Ncube Law Chambers, who argued that there was no evidence linking his clients to the offence.

The prosecutor, Ms Constance Mathaba, said on August 28, the accused persons gathered outside the High Court in Bulawayo where they were waiting to hear the outcome of Chief Ndiweni's application for bail pending appeal against his conviction and sentence for malicious damage to property.

"Soon after the hearing of Chief Ndiweni's bail application, the accused persons gathered outside the High Court building waving placards as they danced and sang derogatory songs with tribal connotations," said Ms Mathaba.

She said some of the placards were inscribed with the words "Free Ndiweni," Ndiweni's life is in danger," and "We want justice: No to tribalism." The court heard that the accused persons were captured in action while allegedly committing the offence by a police photographer. Police detectives were deployed to the scene and arrested the accused persons.

Meanwhile, Mlotshwa also appeared separately before the same magistrate facing a charge of assaulting a police officer who was on duty monitoring the situation.

He was remanded out of custody to September 27 on $100 bail for commencement of trial. Mlotshwa allegedly grabbed the cop by his belt before punching and kicking him in the stomach.

Ms Mathaba aid on August 28 at around 3PM, the complainant, who was clad in civilian clothes, had been deployed in the area around the High Court to monitor the situation. Mlotshwa spotted the complainant receiving a phone call and he confronted him and shouted at him before assaulting him.

"The accused person pushed the complainant and punched him before he kicked him in the stomach as he shouted at him calling him a thief," said Ms Mathaba.

The complainant was rescued by his colleagues before they apprehended Mlotshwa leading to his arrest.

Source - chroncle