THE HIGH COURT OF SWAZILAND
: A.F.M. THWALA
THE CROWN : MR. NDUMA
DEFENCE : MR. MAVUSO
accused is charged with the murder of Sibhaca Mbuti Mabuza on the 1st
is not disputed that the deceased died as a result of a stab wound
inflicted by the accused using a knife. The knife was surrendered by
the accused to the police. The cause of death is confirmed by the
doctor who performed the post-mortem on the deceased.
Crown led evidence of Matsoko Masango. Her evidence is to the effect
that she worked with the accused at the gardens. They left their work
and went to a beer drink at Mvelaphansi' s place, and it is also
clear that they stayed for some time until it was dark and they took
a fair amount of liquor. It is also not in dispute that when the two
i.e. Matsoko and the accused, left Mvelaphansi's place they were
joined by the deceased.
appeared to be not a straight forward witness but after her brother
had given evidence here, (the boyfriend of the accused) , I was able
to see as to why she did not want to give her evidence freely. She
was in difficulty because she did not know who to please. The
deceased was her cousin and the accused was sister in law. What she
wanted to establish is that they quarrelled. As to what was the cause
of the quarrel, it was not clear. She must have heard or noticed that
the deceased wanted to rape or was asking to have sexual intercourse
with the accused. She told the court that she did not see anything
although they were a short distance from her. She was not able to see
when the struggle and the stabbing took place. It must also be taken
into account that she had also taken some drink.
to her brother, witness no. 3, she appeared a bit drunk and accused
was not all that drunk. Then the brother also gave evidence of what
the accused reported. He told the accused to report to the police,
but she went to her employer who then took her to the police. He said
the accused complained about her arm but he did not mention the
stretch or bruise which was on accused's face. The accused was taken
by her employer to the police. The police noticed the bruise on her
face and she also told them about her arm being soar and she was
taken to hospital. The accused gave a detailed evidence here how the
deceased assaulted her. She told the Court that he stood in front of
her and told her that he wanted to have sexual intercourse with her.
She resisted but he continued. At one time she fell or he fell her on
the ground and pressed her. Then it is when she says she received the
bruise on her face. She got up and ran away. The deceased went for
her and caught up with her.
blocked her way. We must take into account that that was done and it
was at night. The deceased insisted. He wanted to have sexual
intercourse with her by force. Then the accused at a later stage
produced a knife and stabbed him. Was she not acting in self defence?
Rape is like any other property or life. To be raped you have to
protect/defend yourself. And this woman was placed in an embarrassing
situation. If he raped her, the sister in law would say something to
her brother, and they were from a drinking place.
observation which I made is that she is not a woman or a person who
goes about to drinking places carrying a knife. There was a
reasonable explanation as to how the knife came to be in her
possession. The Knife was in her dust coat pocket. It is a tool of
her employment. She explained that she cuts vegetables with the knife
at the garden. May be that if she did not have that knife that day he
might have raped her.
do not think that her action exceeded the legal bounds of self
defence. I find that her actions were justifiable in the
circumstances. I come to the conclusion that she acted in self
defence, I therefore acquit her.