Thursday, 5 December 2019

JAILED WHITE FARMER WINS APPEAL


A JAILED Chipinge white farmer, who shot and injured his employee after mistaking him for a stray dog, heaved a sigh of relief after the Masvingo High Court on Monday quashed his conviction and sentence.

Joubert Francois Johannes (36) of Lushof Farm was jailed for 18 months by Chipinge magistrate, Joshua Nembaware for negligently causing serious bodily harm to his employee, Frank Makuyana.

The farmer was sentenced to 24 months, of which six months were suspended on condition of good behaviour.

However, Johannes through his lawyer, Langton Mhungu appealed against the conviction and sentence at Masvingo High Court, arguing that the magistrate misdirected himself in convicting and incarcerating him.

Justices Garainesu Mawadze and Neville Wamambo sitting as an appeals court quashed both the conviction and sentence.

“It is hereby ordered by consent that the appeal be and is hereby upheld, the conviction of the appellant be and is hereby quashed and the sentence set aside. Appellant found not guilty and acquitted,” ordered the two judges. 

After convicting him in May, Nembaware applied to the Prosecutor-General (PG)’s office for increased sentencing jurisdiction.

Johannes, however, applied to the Masvingo High Court seeking an order barring the magistrate from getting increased sentencing jurisdiction from the PG and the matter is still pending.
The PG advised the magistrate to proceed with the sentencing without increased jurisdiction.

Prosecutor Gift Bikita, who had asked for a deterrent sentence, told the court that on October 5 last year, Johannes and his employee, Makuyana were under a dairy shed at around 6am.

Johannes then saw stray dogs which had entered his kraal and went to his farmhouse to collect his shotgun. 

At the same time, Makuyana also left the shed for the guardroom, where he wanted to prepare a meal.

When the farmer returned, he fired at the stray dogs, killing one instantly and another bullet reportedly strayed and hit Makuyana in the stomach, inflicting serious injuries.
He was rushed to hospital, where he was admitted and the bullet was removed. Newsday

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