IN THE HIGH COURT OF SWAZILAND
HELD AT MBABANE CRIMINAL TRIAL NO. 281/07
In the matter between:
PHUMLANI GENUKILE GAMEDZE
CORAM MCB MAPHALALA, J
FOR CROWN MR. M. Nxumalo
FOR DEFENCE Mr. O. Nzima
DATE: 1stJUNE 2010
 The accused is charged with Murder in that upon or about 4th November 2006 and at or near Phonjwane area in the Lubombo Region, he unlawfully and intentionally killed Sidumo Ndzimandze. When the accused was arraigned before Court, he pleaded guilty to Culpable Homicide. The Crown accepted the plea.
 A Statement of Agreed Facts was submitted and read in Court by the Crown. It states as follows:
“The accused person pleads guilty to the offence of Culpable Homicide in that upon or about 4th November 2006 and at or near Phonjwane area in the Lubombo region, the said accused person did unlawfully kill one Sidumo Ndzimandze and did thereby commit the crime of Culpable Homicide.
The accused person admits that the deceased died due to his unlawful and negligent conduct and there was no intervention cause of death of the accused. On the 4th November 2006 the accused and the deceased were at a Sihlongonyane homestead where there was a traditional wedding.
The accused with his friend who were drunk had an argument with the deceased. The accused clapped the deceased. During the course of the argument, the deceased hit the accused with a stone on the forehead and accused fell down.
The accused and his friend chased after the deceased and caught up with him. The accused drew out a screwdriver and stabbed the deceased twice on the chest. The accused person was on the 7th November 2006 arrested by police while at Mkhophi area for killing the deceased.
The Statement of Agreed Facts, Medical Report for the accused, the Post-Mortem Examination Report conducted on the deceased and a screwdriver are handed in as evidence. The accused person remorsefully tenders a plea of guilty to the crime of Culpable Homicide, which plea the Crown accepts.”
 The Statement of Agreed Facts is dated 1st June 2010 and duly signed by both Attorneys for the Crown and Defence.
 The Crown further handed the Medical Report by Consent. It was admitted in evidence and marked Exhibit 1. According to the Report, the accused was treated at Good Shepherd Hospital on the 8th November 2006 and his physical general state of health was found to be stable and oriented; he had minor bruises and abrasions on the right forearm and a superficial cut wound on the forehead.
 The Post-Mortem Report was also admitted in evidence by consent as Exhibit 2; it shows two stab wounds on the chest.
 The screwdriver was admitted in evidence as Exhibit A; it was the weapon used in the commission of the offence.
 It is trite law that when a case has to be decided on a Statement of Agreed Facts, it is necessary that sufficient particulars of the event be included in the Statement not only to prove the guilt of the accused but also to enable the Court to determine what will be an appropriate sentence for the committed crime: Zwelithini Dlamini v. Rex Criminal Appeal No. 5 of 2008 (unreported).
 I am satisfied that in the present case, the Statement of Agreed Facts gives sufficient particulars of the events to prove the guilt of the accused. The accused pleaded guilty to Culpable Homicide and the Crown has accepted the Plea. Section 155 of theCriminal Procedure and Evidence Act No. 67 of 1938 provides that the accused may plead that he is guilty of the offence charged or with the concurrence of the prosecutor of any other offence of which he might be convicted on such indictment or summons.
 Since the accused has pleaded guilty to Culpable Homicide and the Crown has accepted the plea, there is no need for the Crown to lead further evidence. The accused is convicted of Culpable Homicide on his plea of guilty. The Court is satisfied that the Crown has proved the commission of the offence beyond reasonable doubt.
 In mitigation, the defence led the accused who gave his evidence on oath. He pleaded for a lenient sentence on the grounds that he was a first offender, has a minor child to support and that he was remorseful for the offence he committed. The accused is 28 years of age and is not married. Furthermore, he told the Court that when he committed the offence, he was under the influence of liquor; this is not denied by the Crown.
 In arriving at the appropriate sentence, I will take into account the personal circumstances of the accused as well as the interests of society. There are varying degrees of culpability in culpable homicide offences. Each case must be decided on its own facts and the personal circumstances of the offender: Musa Kenneth Nzima v. Rex Criminal Case Appeal No. 21 of2007 (unreported).
 It is common cause that the accused clapped the deceased after a minor quarrel; the deceased retaliated and threw a stone hitting the accused on the forehead. The accused in terms of Exhibit 1 suffered a superficial cut wound on the forehead. The accused and his friend then chased after the deceased until they caught up with him. The accused stabbed him two times on the chest and he died.
 It is not in dispute that the deceased was not armed. Both the deceased and the accused had attended a traditional wedding in the area; it is surprising that the accused was armed with a sharp screwdriver in the circumstances. Similarly, the life of the accused was not in danger after the deceased had run away, and, there was no need for the accused to chase after him and subsequently stab him.
 Cases of people carrying dangerous weapons to places of social pleasure have greatly increased in this country. After drinking alcohol, people are killed after a minor quarrel such as the present case. This court has a duty to impose deterrent sentences in order to protect the lives of innocent victims.
 In the circumstances, I impose a sentence of seven years imprisonment two years of which are suspended for three years on condition that the accused is not convicted of a similar offence during the period of suspension. The sentence will be backdated to the 7th November 2006 the date on which he was arrested.
JUDGE OF THE HIGH COURT