- The Constitutional Court has saved a law student from life in prison after overturning his 2018 murder conviction
- The student, Liqhayiya Tuta, stabbed two police officers in Sunnyside in 2018 because he believed they were robbers
- Most South Africans are happy with ConCourt's decision and feel the law student has been vindicated
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JOHANNESBURG - A former law student who was convicted of murder in 2018 has managed successfully to get his conviction and life sentence overturned by the Constitutional Court.
In 2018, Liqhayiya Tuta stabbed two police officers who he thought were robbers in Sunnyside, Pretoria. The police officers were chasing Tuta down at midnight and were not dressed in police uniform.
One of the cops, Constable Kenneth Sithole, was killed in the incident and the other officer, Constable Lawrence Magalefa, was injured. News24 reports that Tuta was 21 years old when he stabbed the police officers, who had pinned him down.
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According to TimesLIVE, the officers were on duty at the time of the incident and had been driving an unmarked red VW Polo while working as part of Operation Fiela.
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Tuta's legal representation had argued that the trial judge's intervention in the case that barred Tuta from being cross-examined led to a trial irregularity, which then led to the law student's conviction.
Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi stated that if Tuta's cross-examination by the defence team had not been interrupted, they would have been able to prove that Tuta acted in self-defence because Tuta had no knowledge that the men chasing him were police officers.
Lawyer Mabu Marweshe stated that the ConCourt has vindicated Tuta because his rights to a fair trial were violated. Marweshe added that the state was also unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Tuta committed murder and attempted murder.
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South Africans are happy justice was served
"He is black and he was just a mere Unisa LLB student with no money, justice has been served, simple as that."
"Now - who will be held accountable for this? This poor student suffered? @SAPoliceService and @RonaldLamola need to answer. Who will be accountable? Where is the consequence management? @CyrilRamaphosa @ANCParliament @MYANC @Our_DA @VFPlus @EFFSouthAfrica @A_C_D_P"
"Fair enough. The visibility of the cops caused the incident. It could have been avoided by the instructors of the operation."
"Feel sorry for this student being convicted in the first place. In the 6th most homicidal country in the world, what would a reasonable person think if a civil vehicle with 2 people in civil clothing trying to physically handle you do? His actions were those of a reasonable person."
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In similar news, Briefly News previously reported that the man who stabbed young actor Sibusiso Khwinana has been jailed for life. Julius Lucas, from Tanzania, was sentenced in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday, 11 May.
The 36-year-old illegal immigrant was also sentenced to 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances and a further eight years for contravening the Immigration Act.
News24 reports that the court found that Lucas was in Mzansi illegally at the time he committed the crimes. Sibusiso was fatally stabbed in March 2019 at Sterland Mall in Arcadia, Tshwane.
Source: Briefly News