Durban – The State has argued that the accused in the 1989 political murder trial has done himself a disservice by not taking the stand to rebut the prima facie case presented to the court.
On Wednesday the State and the defence in the murder trial of a Chesterville activist with the United Democratic Front (UDF), which was affiliated with the African National Congress (ANC) addressed the court on the merits of the case in the Durban Magistrate’s Court.
Previous evidence from an eyewitness who was with 17-year-old Siphelele Nxumalo when he was allegedly shot was that there was sufficient lighting where they were standing for her to recognise that the shooters were Nxumalo’s friends and one of them was the accused on trial.
Gugulethu Wesley ‘Matiri’ Madonsela alleged by the State to have been affiliated with an A-Team that worked with the Natal Security Branch, is accused of Nxumalo’s alleged murder.
In court, Senior State Prosecutor Advocate SH Ngcobo said that although Madonsela did call a witness, he himself did not give a version as to what happened that night or even suggest where he was that night.
“The accused could have taken court into confidence and taken the stand clarifying where he was on the day; however he did not. This conduct says a lot in terms of what is required of you in terms of the cautionary rules. The state has presented evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused killed the deceased. Evidence that the court has before it is compelling to make the finding that the accused was part of the group that committed the crime.”
During the trial when the defence cross-examined the State’s only eyewitness, Phumelele Miya. Madonsela’s counsel submitted that the names of the perpetrators recorded in the statement Miya made two days after the shooting, had been suggested to her.
“The question is who could have done that, schooled a 16-year old to implicate him (Madonsela), why do this, and for what good purpose? I submit that the submission is an improbable suggestion and it remained just that as it was never given as evidence by the accused on the stand,” said Ngcobo.
Madonsela’s attorney Bongani Cele said there was no other evidence except for the eye witness evidence which has been shaken as there are inconsistencies there.
“There was no need for him to take the stand in the presence of the High Court decision pertaining to the facts of this matter… The accused did not kill the deceased, he had no motive whatsoever, and the State has failed to prove its case,” said Cele.
Previous evidence heard in the trial was that in 1989, Madonsela was arrested with one other person for Nxumalo’s murder. Madonsela absconded after being granted bail and the second accused was found not guilty and discharged after it was established that Miya had misidentified him.
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