Cape Town - 110628 - Faces is a fighting pitbull and is seen here in his yard. Picture: David Ritchie

KwaZulu-Natal - A young, married man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for murder and assault in connection with an incident that began as an argument between neighbours over dogs, including a pitbull terrier.

 Nazeer Bux, 27, was found guilty of the murder of Mohamed Vally and the assault of Vally’s brother, Faheem.

 Vally was killed in Northdale, Pietermarizburg, in October 2010, after an argument over their dogs escalated into what witnesses described as a “free-for-all” fight.

 Bux pleaded not guilty in the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court to the charges, claiming that it was a massive fight that involved many people.

 Bux himself was injured in the fight and was treated for head trauma after being punched, kicked and hit with a metal dog leash.

 However, magistrate Sello Mabooe found that Bux’s version of events was not probable and he was convicted on both counts.

 Bux’s advocate, Anand Pillay, will apply for leave to appeal against the conviction and sentence on Monday.

 In his defence, Bux said he had returned from supper with his wife that night when he saw a crowd and realised the commotion was about the dogs.

 “I told Faheem to take his dog and go home. Both him, his brother and friends started assaulting me,” Bux said.

 “It was a free-for-all. Anyone of those people could have stabbed Vally unintentionally,” he said.

 Faheem Vally had earlier testified that he had been playing “fetch” with his pitbull in the street when two dogs appeared from the yard of the house where Bux’s in-laws lived. A dog fight started.

 While he was trying to separate the dogs Bux drove up, jumped out of his car and “swung” a knife at him, cutting his face next to his ear.

 He said his brother, Mohamed, was killed trying to protect him when Bux stabbed him in the chest. - Daily News