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Nelspruit - A man initially accused of killing another with a beer bottle was found guilty of assault by the Nelspruit Magistrate's Court on Thursday.
The murder charge against Skhumbuzo Mlombo, 35, from Tekwane North outside Nelspruit, was reduced to common assault because the State had failed to prove he caused Sandile Welcome Msibi's death with a beer bottle.
Mlombo pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of common assault before magistrate Shirley Msidi.
He was initially charged with Msibi's murder in a 4am brawl on March 4 last year.
“I confess that I assaulted the deceased with a beer bottle after he caused nonsense at my house. After I hit him, he escaped and I don't know what happened thereafter,” Mlombo said in his confession statement.
Mlombo, a widowed father of two boys aged 12 and four, testified he was drinking with other people at his house when Msibi entered with another woman.
“The deceased was not even invited to my house. After he started causing trouble, I told him to leave, but he refused. A struggle started between us and I then took the beer bottle and hit him once on his head and he left afterwards.”
Msibi's body was found around 7am near a house some distance from Mlombo's residence.
State prosecutor, advocate Michael Mazibuko, said no witnesses came forward to testify about what happened that morning.
“The only witness who testified also disowned his statement made to the police, stating he was too drunk and cannot remember what he said,” he argued.
“The deceased was also drunk at the time of the incident. He had other bruises, which indicated he was dragged on the tar road. The injury which caused his death could not be linked to that caused by Mlombo's attack.” - Sapa