Court finds lawyer Tumi Mokwena not guilty of attempted murder

Tumi Mokwena.
Tumi Mokwena.
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE

EFF leader Julius Malema's lawyer Tumi Mokwena has been acquitted on four counts of attempted murder by the Polokwane High Court.

Judge Ephraim Makgoba said on Tuesday that Mokwena acted in self-defence and had no intention to kill anyone, noting that he found the evidence by four state witnesses to be 'dishonest, unreliable and disingenuous'.

Mokwena was accused of attempted murder after he shot and injured four farmworkes over a salary dispute at Zebediela Citrus Farm Estate in 2017.

Mokwena said he shot one of the workers because he would have wasted his time trying to escape the violent scene. Mokwena added that he had no time to be fighting over a gun with Maile Mamokhere whom he shot on the he hand.

"There was no time, I had to shoot and run. I couldn't stay in the office because I had no ammunition size of an army to shoot at more than hundreds people.He [Mamokhere] was very close to me and kept on approaching me while holding a rock in his hand. He kept on saying he is not afraid of the gun."

Prosecutor Johann Kotzee insisted that Mokwena's life was not in danger. "Two witnesses, a security guard supervisor Magezi Mboweni and farm general manager Jakobus Swanepoel, have said before this court that your life was not in danger and nobody carried dangerous weapons," said Kotzee.

Communal Property Association chairperson Ben Takalo said workers at the Zebediela Citrus farm wanted Mokwena removed from his position after he reneged on his promise to pay salaries and find investors. Mokwena was the farm's managing director.

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