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'Baboon' killing case drags to a close

By unknown | Apr 05, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

A prolonged argument by the defence counsel yesterday led to a delay in the verdict in the baboon killing case.

Judge Ronnie Boshielo had to postpone judgment in the Polokwane high court in Limpopo to today because Jaap Cilliers, representing Jewell Crossberg, had not completed his closing arguments.

Crossberg, a farmer in Musina, is accused of killing Jealous Dube on June 21 2004. Crossberg claimed to have fired shots to scare off baboons on his farm.

At the time of his death, Dube was in the company of Onisimo Musa, Kenneth Mlambo and Elias Ngulube, who all worked for Crossberg.

Boshielo had earlier refused to grant Cilliers permission to have the matter postponed to a later date.

He said the case had dragged on for "far too long."

He said he had agreed, together with the defence team during the trial in December, that the matter would be brought to finality this time.

Cilliers had applied to the court that he and his team to be given enough time to prepare themselves for arguments.

Boshielo told Cilliers that the only time he would be available to attend to criminal matters would be towards the end of next year.

"It would not be in the interests of justice to delay the matter further," Boshielo said.

He said he was also supposed to be on vacation but had to prioritise the case to bring an end to it.

Prosecutor Sam Ngobeni recommended that Crossberg, 52, be found guilty and given a lengthy sentence.

Ngobeni said this should be done in consideration of count one and two, the murder of Dube and the attempted murder of Mlambo.

This, he said, was because the other witnesses had failed to testify. Only Mlambo made it to court to testify against his former employer.

The complainants, together with the deceased, all came from Zimbabwe.

Cilliers argued that at the time of the shooting, only Musa ran in the same direction as Dube and, therefore, it would be unfair for the court to believe Mlambo's evidence.

Ngobeni said Mlambo's evidence corroborated the statement he made to the police.


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