Sithole died at the scene while Magalefa sustained serious injuries after being stabbed by Tuta.
Representing Tuta, advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi argued in the Constitutional Court in February that an intervention by the trial judge which prevented Tuta’s cross-examination had led to a trial irregularity that led to “an unsafe conviction”.
Ngcukaitobi successfully argued that had the cross-examination by the defence not been interrupted by a trial judge it would have proved beyond reasonable doubt Tuta acted in self-defence and had not been aware that the two men who had pinned him to the ground were on duty police officers.
“It is this intervention that resulted in a trial irregularity that vitiates a conviction because at this point in time it was never put squarely to the accused that he subjectively knew the two gentlemen were police officers,” Ngcukaitobi argued at the time.
Tuta’s lawyer Mabu Marweshe said they noted the order and were waiting for reasons.
“As we have persisted in the Supreme Court of Appeal that the trial judge erred in applying the principle of private putative defence and our client’s rights to a fair trial were violated, including that the state failed to prove he was guilty of murder and attempted murder beyond reasonable doubt, we feel that our client’s rights have been vindicated by the apex court.”
Marweshe said the full judgment in the matter “will definitely create a precedent on these issues and contribute immensely to our legal jurisprudence”.