State appeals Zimbabwean amputee case in Botswana

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The state has filed papers opposing the High Court Judge Zibani Makhwade’s decision to discharge and acquit Keitumetse Khunou of attempted murder charge.

Khunou was accused of shooting a Zimbabwean man Gift Ncube in Radisele in 2013 causing him to lose both his hands.

The incident took place at Diphateng lands near Radisele.

The state argues that the judge misdirected himself in a number of respects when he discharged and acquitted Khunou of all charges.

The leave to appeal would be heard by the same judge next week Wednesday.

When passing judgement in the previous case, Makhwade noted that on October 12, 2013 the Zimbabwean, Gift Ncube and Shepherd Ncube were illegal immigrants who were temporarily employed by Khunou to debush his ploughing field.

He said upon completion of the work, the accused gave P500 to Victor Sibanda, and another employee who replaced Shepherd Ncube. He said the complainant refused to take the money from Sibanda saying he was not hired by Victor, but by the accused person who was supposed to pay him.

Makhwade said on the day that gave rise to the attempted murder charge, Ncube resided at one of Khunou’s residences in Radisele with his girlfriend, Magdeline Letlhogile.

He said the police went to Khunou’s field in search of Ncube and Shepherd, in connection with having stolen at one Rra Peter’s place.

He said there were allegations made that the two had threatened to kill Rra Peter when he confronted them about the theft at his place.

“There is no doubt that there was a breakdown of trust between Ncube and Khunou because of the visit by the police,” Makhwade said.

The judge said in the circumstances and taking into account what transpired between the parties, there is no doubt that the complainant was angry, stating that either a Zimbabwean or Motswana was going to die.

Said Makhwade: “First he refused to take his share of money from Victor. On two occasions he refused to take a ride in the accused person’s motor vehicle stating that he has never bought a vehicle. He refused to go and meet with Victor and the accused person to resolve the issue of payment.”

“No explanation has been given as to why the accused would suddenly shoot at the complainant…It is my considered view that the version of the events as narrated by the accused cannot be held to be false…,” Makhwade said.

In conclusion, Makhwade said: “I cannot find as a fact that the accused fired four shots at the complainant. I also find it reasonably possibly true that the shots were fired with the intent to scare rather than to kill the complainant”.

“As to the distances indicated by the parties, no explanation has been given for the lack of more substantial injuries to the body of the complainant. For the above reasons, the accused is acquitted and discharged of the offence of attempted murder,” he said.

Source ; Bulawayo24

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