East London - The East London High Court on Monday, acquitted Bulelwa Ndudula - the widow of a slain Eastern Cape Social Development chief of staff Sakhekile Ndudula - from all the charges related to his murder.
Sakhekile Ndudula was gunned down at their Cambridge home in East London in September 2016, and later died in hospital. Bulelwa Ndudula was charged with his murder, for being in possession of unlicensed 9MM pistol and ammunition which the State alleged she used to commit the crime.
Bulelwa Ndudula pleaded not guilty to the charges and said the charges against her were fabricated by the police and her in-laws.
Defence counsel Advocate Mike Maseti said there was a wider conspiracy by police and some witnesses and evidence that was presented in this case was characterised by deceits.
Judge Igna Stretch made harsh remarks against the prosecution and how it led certain evidence and its failure to obtain conclusive evidence in order to prove that crime was committed by Bulelwa Ndudula.
Stretch said the State failed to prove beyond reasonable doubts that Bulelwa Ndudula was the one who pulled the trigger; and criticised the behaviour of certain State witnesses and questioned their motives in testifying.
The prosecution failed in reconstruction of crime scene evidence to establish the position where the alleged shooter was standing, Stretch said.
The strength of the State's case relied on gunpowder residue found in Bulelwa Ndudula's red jacket and on her right hand.
During the trial, the State's chief forensic analyst, Lieutenant-Colonel Noneka Zizikazi Gogela from the police’s Forensic Science Laboratory in Pretoria testified that Bulelwa Ndudula must have been wearing the jacket when she pulled the trigger or it was two metres away from where the person who pulled the trigger was standing.
During her testimony, Bulelwa Ndudula testified that her jacket was on top of the bed in the room where her husband was shot.
Stretch ruled out using gunpowder residue as the primary source of conviction.
Stretch said the sequence of events of the morning Sakhekile Ndudula was shot made it impossible for his widow to have gotten time to flee and conceal the weapons allegedly used for the crime. She said two 9mm could have been used in this murder but none of them was found.
African News Agency/ANA