Pietermaritzburg - It was redemption and relief for a Maritzburg man when he was acquitted of murder and assault by the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Monday.

Nazeer Bux, 29, had been convicted of the murder of Mohamed Vally and the assault of Vally’s brother, Faheem, after an argument over dogs.

The Daily News reported in 2012 that Bux was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Bux appealed against the decision and was acquitted on all counts by Judge Yvonne Mbatha on Monday. She found the magistrate had misdirected himself in his judgment and failed to take into account that the State had not proved Bux’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

Vally was killed in Northdale in October 2010, after an argument over their dogs escalated into what Bux said was a “free-for-all” fight. Bux had pleaded not guilty in the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court, claiming it was a massive fight by many people.

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

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. It was a free-for-all. I could not see because I was bleeding from my head. Anyone of those people could have stabbed Vally unintentionally,” Bux said.

Mbatha found the medical evidence supported Bux’s version: ”It’s unlikely that Bux inflicted the injuries on himself. A number of people were armed with dangerous weapons. Bux could not say who stabbed him, yet could easily have attributed this to the deceased or others on the scene.

“This gives more credence to his version that he couldn’t see what was happening in the fracas,” the judge said.