Baron gets nod to file appeal against conviction

25 Oct, 2021 - 00:10 0 Views
Baron gets nod to file appeal against conviction

The Chronicle

Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Court Reporter
THE Supreme Court has given jailed Esigodini gold dealer Baron Dube the greenlight to note an appeal against his conviction and sentence.

Dube (45) of Habane Extension Township shot and killed a member of a rival mining gang in Esigodini following a dispute three years ago.

The gold dealer was last year convicted of murder and sentenced to an effective 10 years in jail by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Maxwell Takuva in connection with the death of Prince Antony Bvundura in September 2018.
Bvundura was aged 22 years at the time of his death.

Dube shot Bvundura in the heat of a fight over a mining claim at Block 13 Atlas Mine in Esigodini using a Voere 458 calibre rifle.

Supreme Court judge Justice Nicholas Mathonsi on Thursday granted Dube leave to appeal against his conviction and sentence.

Justice Mathonsi’s ruling follows Dube’s chamber application for extension of time to note an appeal through his lawyer Mr Leopold Mudisi of Mutendi, Mudisi and Shumba Legal Practitioners.

The State did not oppose the application.

“It is ordered by consent that application for extension of time to note an appeal out of time in terms of Rule 21 (1) of the Supreme Court Rules be and is hereby granted,” ruled Justice Mathonsi.
Dube was given 10 days to file his notice of appeal.

In his founding affidavit, Dube said the delay to file the appeal was due to lack of communication between his lawyers and court officials on the availability of the High Court written judgment.

“The delay was not due to my fault but the circumstances beyond my control. The appeal couldn’t have been filed without written judgment which could only have been availed by the court,” he said.

“The explanation propounded clearly illustrates that there was no inordinate delay and therefore I was pursuing my rights to have the appeal determined on merit.”

Dube argued that his conviction and sentence were not warranted.

“It is important that the appeal be heard so that the matter is finalised,” he said.
In his grounds of appeal, Dube said his appeal carries prospects of success, arguing that the State failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

He said the lower court erred by convicting him when there was no evidence to support his conviction.

“In my evidence, I mentioned that I accidentally discharged my revolver following an attack by gold panners. The State had a duty to prove that the projectile which caused the death of the deceased was discharged from my rifle and that I was not attacked resulting in me falling into a pit,” argued Dube.

He argued that the firearm accidentally discharged after he stepped on a rock and fell down while fleeing from a mob, which was throwing stones at him while baying for his blood.

Mr Khumbulani Ndlovu who is representing the State, said failure by Dube to file his notice of appeal within the prescribed 14 days was not willful as the written High Court judgment was not yet available to the parties.

“The reasons for the applicant’s failure to abide and comply with the Rule of the Supreme Court are reasonable and understandable in the circumstances. Applicant promptly sought to comply and file his notice of appeal. He was however, advised that he could not do so as the High Court judgement had not ben attached to his papers,” he said.

According to court papers, on September 26, 2018, Bvundura went to work at Block 13 Atlas Mine in Esigodini in the company of his workmates. On the same day, Dube arranged a gang of about 20 people so that they could disperse everyone and take over the mine where there was a gold rush.

At about 11PM, Dube armed himself with two guns, a revolver and a rifle and his accomplices were carrying machetes, axes, shovels and picks. He drove to the mine in his Toyota Land Cruiser with his gang and on arrival at the mine, he chased away all miners, claiming he had been granted authority to operate at the mine by the owner, one Mr Tendai Musanangura.

Bvundura, who was part of a group of miners fleeing during the skirmishes, was shot and he died on the spot.

According to the post mortem results the cause of death was gunshot wound, heart destruction and hypovolemic shock. – @mashnets

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