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Court of Appeal acquits death row convict

Publishing Date : 16 January, 2018

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Court of Appeal (CoA) has today discharged and acquitted a death row inmate Tsholofelo Maselwa. The   Zwenshambe born was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Chifana Ndaya, 70, last year. He was said to have committed the offence on April 19, 2009.


Dismissing the sentence, the panel of three judges Lord Hamilton, Lord Tafa and Lord Brand said there was nothing that linked Maselwa with the offence. Lord Hamilton said while the full judgment will be delivered on February 02, they couldn’t allow the man to continue languishing in prison while he did no wrong.


Maselwa’s lawyer Mishingo Jeremia had argued that the evidence at the trial was not sufficient as to justify the conviction. “The fact that the appellant urgently needed money as found by the judge on the one hand, and that the deceased had been paid his old age pension on the other hand did not necessarily connect the appellant to the death of the deceased,” states Jeremia in his arguments filed before court.


The court heard that one of the state witnesses met with the appellant a few days before the tragedy, whereupon the appellant indicated that he needed money as he wanted to go and look for a piece job at Sua Pan. It was then that the witness arranged for a piece job and later paid the appellant P100. It was also established that the deceased had been paid his old age pension the day the appellant finished his piece job at the witness’ house and left to another village.

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