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FAILED MOVE TO COERCE ‘NCAZA’, ‘TATA’ TO DENY EVERYTHING

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MBABANE- A purported move by a ‘strange’ female South African advocate to allegedly coerce Siphiwe ‘Tata’ Ngubane and Mbuso ‘Ncaza’ Nkosi to sign affidavits disputing that they agreed to testify against Sipho Shongwe has failed.


Shongwe is accused of having a hand in the murder of Gamedze and the duo of Ngubane and Nkosi are accomplice witnesses in the matter. Nkosi and Ngubane, who are currently incarcerated in the Republic of South Africa, reportedly refused to sign the affidavits. In the affidavits they were allegedly being called upon to attest that they never consented to testify in the murder case or being State witnesses.


It remains a mystery as to who instructed the female advocate to ‘represent’ Ngubane and Nkosi as they are said to have also denied to have instructed her to be their legal representative.


The advocate, who is only identified as Mohomane, is alleged to have showed up during Ngubane and Nkosi’s appearance at the Pretoria Magistrates Court. She allegedly informed them and the court that she had taken over as their legal representatives after the withdrawal of Advocate Jacques’ Nel from Legal Aid South Africa.


The female advocate was reportedly in possession of two affidavits with the same wording which she allegedly requested them to sign but they declined.
Part of the affidavits which the duo reportedly refused to sign, read: “I am an alleged suspect in the murder of Victor Gamedze that occurred in Swaziland sometime in 2018. The affidavit dated September 19, 2018 that was allegedly written by me is untrue and I never deposed to same. I did not enter into any plea with the State of Swaziland; neither did I agree to become a State witness.”


Asked


In the affidavits, Ngubane and Nkosi were also asked to agree that they had revoked the service of Advocate Jacques Nel and they now wanted to elect a legal representative of their choice.
These are allegations contained in an affidavit whose veracity is still to be tested in court.


The affidavits have been annexed to the court papers filed by the Crown as part of its evidence.
The latest developments were revealed by lead investigator in the matter, Senior Superintendent Sikhumbuzo Fakudze. 


This is in the matter where the State is opposing the application filed by Shongwe where he is seeking an order to stay the delivering of a judgment where the Crown is seeking an order to lead Ngubane and Nkosi through Audio Visual Link (AVL). 


Senior Superintendent Shongwe narrated that Advocate Mohomane’s right to appear on behalf of Nkosi and Ngubane was challenged by Advocate Van Wyk for the State in the Republic of South Africa.


“She (Advocate Mohomane) indicated that she had no mandate, could not produce any power of attorney or suggest why she was mandated,” submitted the senior superintendent.


Fakudze informed the court that the Eswatini police believed that the female advocate was sent by Shongwe or persons acting on his behalf to attempt to persuade the two witnesses (Ngubane and Nkosi) to sign the affidavits and thus bring an end to their participation.
He told the court that Ngubane and Nkosi declined to sign the affidavits and they would attest to that fact if they were allowed to give evidence in the terms of the court’s AVL ruling.


Senior Superintendent Fakudze submitted that he established this in consultation with the two witnesses.
“It is obviously a contrivance by Mr Shongwe to suggest that the unmandated advocate may have persuaded them (Ngubane and Nkosi) to change their minds,” submitted the senior superintendent.


He asserted that with the Crown counsel he had on more than one occasion consulted with Ngubane and Nkosi.
According to Fakudze, on the last occasion they consulted with these witnesses, they were not represented by Advocate Nel.


“That was on Tuesday, October 9, 2019. They were duly warned that they have rights of legal representation and they were asked whether they were nevertheless willing to continue to be interviewed by the Eswatini police and the Crown counsel,” averred Fakudze. According to Fakudze, Nkosi and Ngubane had no hesitation in agreeing to consult with the Crown Counsel and the police.


Contrived


“What appears therefore to be the case is that the accused (Shongwe) contrived to send a representative purporting to act on behalf of the two suspects (Ngubane and Nkosi) bearing draft affidavits which did not reflect the truth and which they did not sign, in an effort to stop the two Crown witnesses from giving evidence via AVL or at all. This effort failed,” contended Senior Superintendent Fakudze.


He informed the court that Nkosi and Ngubane had never flagged in their determination as witnesses under Section 234 to give evidence on behalf of the Crown and obviously to do so if the court permitted by audio visual means. Section 234(1) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act provides:

“ If any person who to the knowledge of the public prosecutor has been an accomplice, either as a principal or accessory, in the commission of any offence alleged in any indictment or summons, or the subject of a preparatory examination, is produced as a witness by and on behalf of such public prosecutor and submits to be sworn as a witness, and fully answers to the satisfaction of the court all lawful questions put to him while under cross examination, he shall thereby be absolutely freed and discharged from all liability to prosecution for such offence.”

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