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Family seeks 'lion-killer's' appeal

By unknown | Oct 08, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

What is good for the goose must be good for the gander.

This is how the family of Simon Mathebula, who was sentenced to 15 years in jail for his part in the death of Nelson Chisale, feels.

The body of Chisale, 41, was thrown into the lion enclosure at the Mokwalo game reserv e near Hoedspruit on January 31, 2004.

Mathebula's co-accused, Mark Scott-Crossley, had his life sentence reduced to five years two weeks ago by the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Mathebula's brother, Johnson Mathebula, said: "We are concerned that only Scott-Crossley's sentence was reduced while my brother will continue to rot in jail."

"We are not like the white man's family who could afford the legal fees for an appeal."

Scott-Crossley and Mathebula were the only two men convicted and sentenced following the gruesome murder.

When Mathebula was sent to jail in October 2005 he left behind his wife, Joinah, with two children of his late sister, Caroline, at his house in Timbavati village near Acornhoek. He took care of Aubrey, 17, and Thomas, 21.

Mathebula's other sister, Mavis Ndubane, said: "He used to pay for their school fees, clothes and food.

"Thomas was forced to leave school because there was no one else to support him and Aubrey was lucky that social workers took him under their wing."

Mathebula's wife has since left the house and the children have gone to Rooiboklagte village to stay with their uncle, Johnson, who said he has bone TB and that life was difficult.

"My brother was also a part-time builder so he was able to give the children what they needed to carry on in life."


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