Man cleared of stick killing
An East London man accused of killing another with a stick was this week acquitted of murder.
Eric Ntetho admitted in a regional court that he had hit Sipho Landu with a stick, but denied Landu died as a result of it.
Nthetho said he had acted in self-defence in February last year at Bongweni township.
Ntetho told the court he had drunk liquor and had gone to sleep on a sofa when the incident occurred.
"Landu woke me up while I was asleep and grabbed me. He slapped me across the face and dragged me out of the house," Ntetho told the court.
He said he had retaliated by hitting Landu with a stick once across his waist. Ntetho said Landu left his house shouting and saying he would return, but never did.
Prosecutor Wayne Jafta said a medical report showed that Landu had died from injuries he had sustained on his head. Ntetho maintained that he did not beat Landu on the head. He said Landu might have been beaten by somebody else after their fight.
"I was only informed by members of the community policing forum the following day that he had died," said Ntetho.
Questioned further by Jafta, Ntetho said he had never before had an argument with Landu. He did not know why Landu had attacked him.
Magistrate D Rossouw acquitted Ntetho, saying there was insufficient evidence linking him to the death.
Rossouw said it was possible that Landu had another confrontation with somebody else on that same night.
He said police did not investigate the case thoroughly. The stick allegedly used to beat Landu should have been produced as evidence.