Adelaide Moyo Chronicle Reporter
A 46-YEAR OLD villager from Lupane has been jailed for nine years for possessing a python skin. Police officers acting on a tip-off found the nearly four metre long python skin hanging on Elvis Khoza’s dining room wall. He was immediately arrested after he failed to produce papers authorising him to be in possession of the skin.
Khoza of Shabula Village was convicted on his own plea by Lupane resident magistrate Ndumo Masuku.
He pleaded with the court to be lenient saying he killed the snake because it had been attacking his chickens and goats.
The magistrate slapped him with the mandatory nine-year sentence saying pythons were a protected species.
“You should’ve reported the presence of the python to Parks and Wildlife authorities,” said Masuku.
In mitigation, Khoza said he was ignorant of the law hence he killed the python to protect his livestock.
“The python ate a number of my chickens and my goats. I killed it because it was wreaking havoc at my homestead. I ask the court to forgive me because I acted out of ignorance of the law. I’ve suffered a stroke and may the court give me an option to pay a fine instead of going to jail,” he said.
Sanders Sibanda appeared for the state.