Bosso fan murder suspects in court

BULAWAYO - Nine suspects accused of murdering a Highlanders fan, Thembelonkosi Hlosi, yesterday applied for bail when they appeared before magistrate Sibongile Msipa.

Emmason Msipa, Honest Makaza, Onisimo Maphosa, George, Chapindika and Rodger Dierrechsen, Nadi Nyoni, Chama Misiwo and Margaret Mpofu will remain in custody pending their bail hearing today. 

The accused are being represented by lawyers Tanaka Muganyi and Lawrence Chikwakwa.

In their submission, the defence team said the arrest of the suspects was made in such a way that everybody who passed through the scene was fingered as a suspect.

“The accused were mere victims now turned villains because of the emotions that have been whipped by the media,” Chikwakwa told the court.

“The accused are victims of violence but are being punished for a problem that has been unending for more than a decade now.”

He said remanding them in custody was a deprivation of their fundamental right to liberty.

Muganyi said the State had not proffered any  substantiated facts warranting their continued detention.

“Such conduct of having the accused incarcerated on anticipatory punishment has been described as despicable at law,” Muganyi said.

The nine accused have been in detention for almost a week.

“There is no nexus or causative link that links the accused person in this matter,” Muganyi said. “This is what we call a  dragnet arrest. The police used the scatter-gun approach.”

The defense counsel said the post-mortem results do not link  the accused to the offence.

“The cause of death is described as wound on the right lower abdomen  which was produced by a sharp object,” he said.

A post mortem examination revealed that he died due to haemorrhagic shock, a stab wound, assault and perforated left  iliac vessel.

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