By Swazi Observer News Team | 2018-02-13
There is pungent trepidation that Victor Gamedze’s murder There is pungent trepidation that Victor Gamedze’s murdersuspect Sipho Shongwe intends to kill suspects and alleged accomplices, Sicelo ‘Dzodzo’ Zikalala/ Luthungo, Mbuso Ncaza Nkosi and another unidentified man who are currently on the run.
This is according to state papers where they are opposing a bail application by Shongwe. It is alleged in the papers that Shongwe is planning to eliminate the on the run suspects to destroy evidence against him.
It is not stated how the police or DPP arrived at this startling allegation evidence. The bail hearing is slated for tomorrow. The state feels releasing Shongwe would affect their investigations given that he allegedly wants to kill ‘Dzodzo’ and Ncaza who have to answer on the charges they face.
The crown contends that whereas the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty is not absolute in that there are instances where a person’s right to liberty can be tampered with if it is in the interest of justice to have him kept in custody.
The prosecution further submitted that there is strong likelihood that Shongwe may commit an offence listed in part 2 of the first schedule of the CPE Act 67/1938 as amended in that investigations reveal that Shongwe intends to kill the suspects who are still at large.
“There is a strong likelihood that Shongwe will evade trial as we have a strong case against him,” said the prosecution.
According to court documents filed at the High Court yesterday by Absalom Makhanya from the DPP, Shongwe allegedly escaped from two South African prisons and has been living the life of a fugitive in the country since 2008.
Not only did he escape in 2008, but it has also been revealed that he once escaped from the Amsterdam Correctional Facility in 1991 thus making a strong case for the prosecution that he is indeed a flight risk and will evade trial if granted bail. Shongwe allegedly lied in his bail application that he was convicted in 1997, as it has been established that Shongwe was in fact convicted in year 2001 by the Pretoria High Court under case No. 137/98 and Bronkhorspruit case No. 225/97 on over t10 counts.
He then noted an appeal against both his conviction and sentence at the North Gauteng High Court that was dismissed. He then applied to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein an application that was also dismissed. And finally he applied to the Constitutional Court of Appeal and this was dismissed on May 30, 2003. Shongwe also allegedly lied that he was released on parole in March 2008 as investigations by the state in conjunction with the South African Police Services (SAPS) revealed that Shongwe’s liberation warrant that resulted in his release was fraudulent. An Affidavit by Setati Frans Sathekge states that last year in September the police came to enquire about the Sipho ‘City’ Shongwe who was sentenced to two life sentences.
Sathekge said the documents that they produced were fraudulent in that the court order did not have a case number, appeal number, dates, and names of the three judges and the name of the accused.
The date stamps on the court order were very strange in that the High Court has never used a stamp like that. There was also no signature of the registrar and lastly the stamp on the warrant of liberation was also strange and whatever was written on it made no sense at all.
It is also stated that disciplinary action was taken by the Republic of South Africa Correctional Centre against the correctional officers that were involved in Shongwe’s fraudulent release.
Another Affidavit by Noah Seshason Nkosi from the head of the Barbeton Maximum Correctional Center states that offender Shongwe Patrick City Sipho with registration number 98623352 was sentenced to life imprisonment on March 1, 2001 at the Pretoria High Court under case number 137/98 and the Bronkhorspruit case number 225/97.
The offender was erroneously released on March 25, 2008 on a warrant of liberation after serving only seven years and 24 days of the life imprisonment. Life sentence is 25 years in South Africa.
Nkosi went on to state that Shongwe was supposed to be considered for possible placement on parole after serving at least 20 years imprisonment.
Nkosi averred that due to being sentenced before October 1, 2004, he would only be eligible for parole in 2021 by the Minister of Correctional Services and to be on parole for the rest of his natural life provided the parole was approved by the minister. This effectively means that Shongwe was still left with 12 years, 11 months and 3 days before serving the minimum detention period which is in 2021 but he was erroneously released on March 25, 2008.
The prosecution submitted that as a result of the warrant of arrest against Shongwe for his fraudulent release, the South African Police Services made a request to the South African National Director of Public Prosecutions that Shongwe be extradited from Swaziland to the Republic of South Africa in order for him to complete serving his sentence and further be tried for escaping from lawful custody, forgery, perjury and uttering. Upon receipt of the request local DPP officers compared Sipho “Dumisani” Shongwe’s fingerprints with those of Sipho “City” Shongwe and the results thereof were positive that it was indeed the same person.
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