The Fees Must Fall protests had dire consequences for café employee Eddie at the University of Cape .
The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) yesterday reserved judgment in the appeal hearing of Mark Scott-Crossley, the man convicted of murdering a farm worker who was later thrown into a lion enclosure.
Scott-Crossley was given a life imprisonment sentence by the Phalaborwa Circuit Court in September 2005 for the murder of Nelson Chisale. Arguing against the appeal in Bloemfontein, state counsel Sam Ngobeni said the "hypothetical" evidence of an expert (pathologist) could not override the "direct and credible" evidence of eye-witnesses.
Ngobeni was arguing that the defence only had the evidence of forensic pathologist Leon Wagner and Scott-Crossley to stand on while the state had eye-witnesses, despite contradictions in testimony. The matter relates to an incident on January 31 2004 when Chisale arrived on a farm in Hoedspruit to fetch his pots after he had been fired by Scott-Crossley. Two other workers, co-accused in the matter, found him on the property and assaulted him. Chisale was tied to a tree where Scott-Crossley initially found him. At the trial the state submitted that Scott-Crossley also assaulted the victim, ordered two co-accused to throw him into a lion enclosure while "probably" still alive.
Earlier, Scott-Crossley's counsel submitted that justice was not served during the murder trial. Johann Engelbrecht said the High Court had entered the "arena of guiding the state when examining witnesses in chief". Engelbrecht said the court was wrong in assessing the credibility of state witnesses, especially Robert Mnisi, an accomplice who received indemnity after turning state witness. "Not enough attention was given to the internal and external contradictions in testimony," Engelbrecht said.
Ngobeni submitted that Mnisi's evidence was "frank, honest, straight forward and clear". He said Mnisi had no reason to lie. One of the co-accused, Simon Mathebula, is doing twelve years. The other, Richard Mathebula, whose trial was separated from the rest, died in the Nelspruit prison hospital shortly after his trial began, and Mnisi turned state witness. Engelbrecht submitted that despite an earlier finding there was no common conspiracy among the accused to murder. He said Scott-Crossley could be guilty of being an accessory after the fact to murder. He asked the SCA to reassess the trial evidence and make its own findings. - Sapa