Moses Maluleke murder trial judgment expected on Tuesday

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The High Court in Polokwane, Limpopo, is expected to deliver judgment on Tuesday, in the trial of the five accused in the killing of Collins Chabane Municipality Mayor, Moses Maluleke.

The legal representatives have delivered their closing arguments in the matter. Maluleke was shot and killed at his home at Xikundu outside Malamulele in July 2022.

The summation of evidence that was heard by this court since the trial started in May 2023. The state believes the accused, Shumani Nemadodzi, Isaac Mudau, Wiseman Baloyi, Tshianeo Munyai and Pfunzo Lidzebe, conspired to break into Maluleke’s home with the intention to steal but ultimately ended up shooting and killing him.

The state argued that the eyewitness evidence of its key witness, Avhatakali Mulaudzi, who was initially an accused in the matter, was credible and truthful. This despite the fact that Mulaudzi said on the stand, that he was coached, as and when he was brought to court to testify.

“Mr Mulaudzi when he testified in chief and under cross examination, he remains steadfast, and when he was re-examined on whether his testimony was what he was experienced or the coaching he insisted it was his experience. It is my submission that you can’t take anything from his testimony especially because he confirmed that he volunteered to the magistrate what he knew of the crime and his coaching does not change the complex of his testimony,” says prosecutor Adv Eric Mabapa.

During the trial, Nemadodzi was pointed out by Maluleke’s son, Ntokoto, as the person who shot and injured him on the day of the incident.

Nemadzodzi’s legal representative has however, questioned the credibility of evidence that was led by both Ntokoto Maluleke and Mulaudzi.

“We are simply saying accused one told the court about this meeting should be taken into account and that when it comes to Mr Mulaudzi’s testimony, this is the same witness who asked this court to protect him, his evidence is tainted,” says Nemadodzi’s lawyer Ruth Scott.

Mudau and Baloyi’s lawyer argued that the state was unable to present any evidence that proved their involvement in the crime. They have also accused the prosecutor of deliberately attempting to mislead the court.

“My learned friend knew that the calls that Mr Mulaudzi was going to testify about is non-existent, he was aware that there is no evidence, he gave him document and made him commit perjury,” says Mudau and Baloyi’s lawyer Adv Amukelani Baloyi.

Munyai and Lidzebe’s lawyer argued that the court ran the risk of convicting innocent people as a result of Mualudzi’s tainted testimony.

“The court might find itself convicting the wrong people in this matter, especially accused 5 and 6. what Mr Mulaudzi said sounded like a scripted story and my clients cannot be called to…,” says Munyai and Lidzebe’s lawyer Adv Jack Raphesu.

Maluleke was the second mayor of the Collins Chabane Municipality at the time of his killing.

The five accused have been charged with murder, attempted murder and possession of illegal ammunition and firearms among other crimes.

Video: Moses Maluleke Murder – Accused Isaac Mudau denies any involvement in mayor’s shooting