Pupil, two others sentenced to 45 years
MBABANE – High Court Judge Bheki Maphalala has sentenced a Form IV pupil and two others to 45 years for killing a man in a fight over fire crackers.
Msingatseni Simelane from Ebenezer High School in the Shiselweni region was yesterday convicted together with Simanga and Thembinkosi Mashaya, for the murder of Mmeli Masuku on December 29, 2006.
The bone of contention was that some people had fired the crackers towards Masuku’s direction and he reacted by slapping Simanga.
A fight ensued and Masuku was beaten to a pulp by the accused.
He later died in hospital, as a result of injuries inflicted during the fight.
Each of them will serve 15 years of the 45-year sentence.
The three had pleaded not guilty to the murder charge, with extenuating circumstances. Simanga was also found guilty of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm as well as contempt of court.
The accused were represented by Ncamiso Manana from BS Dlamini and Associates, while Senior Crown Counsel, Sikhumbuzo Fakudze, appeared for the Crown.
The three, had been out on bail and were shocked when Judge Maphalala delivered the verdict and subsequently cancelled their bail. They had been enjoying their liberty since June 2007.
Making submissions on extenu-ating factors, Manana said the accused were minors when they committed the offences.
He said Simanga, Thembinkosi and Msingatseni were 20, 16 and 15 years respectively at the time.
However, Fakudze argued that youthfulness alone was never an extenuating factor.
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