Murder sentence stands

Former co-owner of the Cape Town branch of Teazers nightclub, Michael Jackson, was yesterday refused leave to appeal against his conviction for the murder of a street child by the Cape high court.

Former co-owner of the Cape Town branch of Teazers nightclub, Michael Jackson, was yesterday refused leave to appeal against his conviction for the murder of a street child by the Cape high court.

Jackson, 45, shot dead street child Xolani Zodwana three years ago in the belief that Zodwana had smashed the driver's window of his luxury car parked in the street outside the nightclub.

Jackson launched his application for leave to appeal the conviction on Thursday before the acting judge, Dumisani Zondi.

The judge ruled the murder was not premeditated and therefore did not call for life imprisonment.

But Zondi said Jackson had cold-bloodedly shot dead an innocent street child who had done nothing wrong, and in doing so, displayed a "callous disrespect" for the child's life.

There were no substantial or compelling circumstances justifying a sentence less than the prescribed 15 years, the judge said.

Jackson was also found guilty of attempting to defeat the ends of justice for falsely informing the police that he had thrown his firearm into the sea at Milnerton and was jailed for an additional year.

Jackson's counsel, Manne Witz, had asked for the extension of Jackson's R50000 bail, pending the outcome of the appeal.

The hearing ended late on Friday with the judge saying he needed the weekend to consider the application, and that Jackson would remain in custody.

At yesterday's proceedings, Zondi ruled that no other court would fault Jackson's murder conviction, and that Jackson thus had no reasonable prospects of success on appeal.

Witz told the court that Jackson would now petition the chief justice for leave to appeal - Jackson's very last hope.

He again applied for the extension of Jackson's bail, this time pending the outcome of the petition.

Zondi ruled that the correct procedure was for the supreme court of appeal (SCA) to decide the question of bail, together with the petition.

The judge agreed with the prosecutor that, even if the SCA allowed the petition, there was no reason why Jackson ought not to immediately begin his one-year jail term for attempting to defeat the ends of justice. - Sapa

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