Source: Ntabazinduna villagers languish in remand prison after wrongful arrest – #Asakhe – CITE
Two Ntabazinduna villagers who are linked with a case of malicious damage to property involving Chief Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni are languishing in remand prison after they were arrested for allegedly failing to attend a court hearing.
Magret Mabhula and Webster Nyoni both aged 60 years are currently detained at Mlondolozi and Bulawayo prisons respectively.
The duo is part of the 23 villagers who in 2019 together with Chief Ndiweni were accused of destroying property belonging to a fellow villager Fatti Mbele whom they accused of defying a traditional court ruling.
In July 2017, Ndiweni ruled that Mbele and his wife, Nonkangelo Mpengesi who was allegedly caught red-handed having sex with another villager should be banished from Sifelani village noting that prostitution is outlawed.
When they refused to leave, he allegedly ordered his subjects to destroy the couple’s garden fence and kraal.
In 2019, Chief Ndiweni and his 23 subjects were convicted of malicious damage to property. Chief Ndiweni was sentenced to 2 years in jail while some of the villagers were ordered to perform 525 hours of community service.
However, the villagers were tried separately and the pair’s case was yet to be finalised.
About three weeks ago, 16 villagers were sentenced to 16 months in jail after they defaulted on their community service sentence.
Speaking to CITE, the pair’s lawyer Prince Butshe Dube said his clients were wrongfully detained as their case is yet to be finalised.
“The villagers were originally charged together with the chief Felix Ndiweni, then there were ordered to do community service defaulted. It happened that before the matter was finalized in 2019, two of the accused persons defaulted court and they were arrested and had their warrant of arrest cancelled. Their case was yet to be finalised due to the fact that the villagers were tried separately,” said Dube.
“The other villagers were convicted and sentenced. They later defaulted while serving community service. They were rearrested some three weeks ago and my clients were also wrongfully arrested while their case is yet to be finalised.”
Dube said after discovering the error they wrote to the provincial magistrate Musaiona Shotgame so that he could send a record to the judge to order a nullification of that penalty.
“We wrote on the 10th of March and up to now the magistrate has not done anything, it’s quite unfair that an unconvicted person is sentenced to jail because of an error of a magistrate,” he said.