Court hears Siqokoqela Mphoko’s bail application
Peter Matika, [email protected]
JAILED former Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko’s son, Siqokoqela’s application for bail pending trial is set to be heard today at the Bulawayo High Court.
Mphoko was recently sentenced to 20 years in jail for raping his 12-year-old niece as well as escaping from lawful custody.
Last month, through his lawyer, Mr Zibusiso Ncube of Ncube and partners, Mphoko filed an appeal challenging his conviction and sentence.
In his application, Mphoko argued that the court’s decision was flawed as there were many inconsistencies.
“Take notice that the appellant hereby appeals against both conviction and sentence imposed by a regional magistrate, Mr Elijah Singano sitting at the Bulawayo magistrate’s court on the 4th of May 2023,” reads part of the appeal.
Mphoko said the court erred at law in improperly admitting evidence of the complainant, arguing that it did not meet legal requirements for admissibility of proof of sexual complaints.
“The trial court grossly misdirected itself at law in arriving at the conclusion that the witnesses were credible when their evidence was fraught with material inconsistencies,” he said.
Mphoko said the court erred when it dismissed his defence without deliberating on the allegations.
“The court erred at law in arriving at the conclusion that the State had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt yet when given the totality of the evidence, the State failed dismally to do so,” he argued.
Mphoko said the court had also imposed an unconscionable sentence.
He wants an order setting aside his conviction and sentence.
In his ruling, Mr Singano said many of the victim’s constitutional rights were violated.
He said what was aggravating was that Siqokoqela had betrayed the victim’s trust and that of her family.
According to court papers, it was stated that sometime between May and August last year, Mphoko unlawfully and intentionally had sexual intercourse with his niece aged 12 thrice without her consent.
On August 30, at around 4.30PM and at ZRP Hillside Charge Office, Mphoko was arrested and brought to the charge office for a crime of rape by one Assistant Inspector Admire Donha.
While at the charge office he was booked for detention and he signed for his belongings.
Mphoko requested to get his medication from his car which was parked outside the charge office.
He was escorted by Constable Chimuka to his car and when he got to the car, he jumped in and sped off.