Police Officers Were Acquitted Of The Murder Of Ntumba Who Was Fatally Shot During Wits Protests
The High Court of South Africa Gauteng Local Division, Johannesburg granted all four police officers that were accused of killing Mthokozisi Ntumba during protests by Witwatersrand University students in March 2021 a discharge, in terms of section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act.
This section provides that, "If at the close of the case for the prosecution at any trial, the court thinks that there is no evidence that the accused committed the offence referred to in the charge or any offence of which he may be convicted on the charge, it may return a verdict of not guilty.”If the application of the provisions of s174 favour the accused, then they are discharged from prosecution without having to testify.
Ntumba had visited a surgery in Braamfontein for a doctor's consultation when he met his demise. Tshephisho Kekana, 27, Cidraas Motseothatha, 43, Madimetja Legodi, 37, and Victor Mohammed, 51, pleaded not guilty to one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder, emanating from the injuries sustained by three students at the time. The court ruled that there was no evidence presented that any of the accused was responsible for the death of Ntumba. Furthermore that none of the forensic and/or ballistic experts that testified could link the accused to the alleged offence.
The NPA accepts the decision as justice prevailed. We will study the judgment to determine whether or not it can be taken on appeal.
Issued by: Phindi Mjonondwane
Regional Spokesperson-Gauteng Local Division