Thursday, 3 August 2017

TWO COPS WALK FREE FROM COURT

Two police officers, their former colleague and a maid, who were accused of assaulting a man, who had been accused of theft when they were arresting him, were on Monday found not guilty and acquitted by a Bulawayo magistrate at the close of the State’s case.

The former police officer, Livingstone Sango, Inspector Martin Chivandire (42), who is an officer-in-charge stationed at Drill Hall, Inspector Innocentia Makhelina Ncube (54), who is an officer-in-charge of the Criminal Investigation Department’s drugs and narcotics unit and the maid, Nomsa Ngwenya, denied the charge when they appeared before Gladmore Mushove.

The four were alleged to have assaulted Vinnie Kumbirai Ngoreta on March 12 this year after they arrested her for theft of a T-shirt.

Their lawyer, Abednico Ndebele of Mathonsi Law Chambers, said the State failed to prove a prima facie case against his clients.

“It is common cause that the complainant went to a police building in the evening and was apprehended while wearing a stolen T-shirt belonging to [Chivandire],” the lawyer submitted.

“He was later convicted by another court on two counts of theft.”

Ndebele said in another case, Ngoreta claimed he was assaulted by another police officer, a Constable Matare, who was also acquitted.

Ndebele said Ngoreta got injured when he tried to run away during his arrest and was assaulted.

“The court here is dealing with a convicted thief, who is prepared to throw even the kitchen basin to put the accused persons in unfavourable light and him in favourable light,” he said.

“The State failed to prove its case beyond any reasonable doubt and accused are entitled to their acquittal.”

Prosecutor Kudakwashe Jaravaza said the State believed that its evidence was strong to warrant the conviction of the accused for assault.

“In a nutshell, the State would submit that the evidence before the court is very clear and would urge the court to retain a guilty verdict,” he submitted.

Mushove ruled that the State failed to prove a case against the accused before acquitting them due to lack of evidence.

Ngoreta was arrested on March 12 this year at 6pm on the 10th floor of Southampton Building.


He claimed he was accused by Chivandire of stealing a T-shirt and when he tried to explain, they ganged up to assault him, leading to him sustaining injuries. Newsday

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