Byline: Nonjabuliso Nhlambo

12 March 2023

A 34-year old man was convicted by Bethal regional court to 12 years imprisonment during his trial on 22 February 2024 for attempted murder which happened in February 2021.

On the day of the incident, the suspect intentionally stabbed a security officer with a knife on his head and back while attending to a complaint near Total Jan Marie in Bethal.

It is alleged that the accused, Sikhosana Gift Vusi also known as Mberuthi attacked the security guard and disarmed him. He then used the firearm threatening to shoot everyone within the vicinity during the attack.

The police from Mzinoni SAPS were driving in town when they were stopped by a passerby and informed them about the incident. The men in blue never hesitated and swiftly responded to the complaint and on arrival at the scene, they called police members from Bethal for back-up as the accused was having a firearm which he discharged it when he noticed them.

As trained and competent police officers on handling suspects with firearms, they managed to disarm the accused and apprehended him.

After apprehending the accused, the firearm was seized from him and marked as an exhibit which was presented during trial period at court.

Skhosana was then arrested for attempted murder, and appeared before Bethal Magistrate’s Court facing charges of attempted murder, Assault with the intent to cause grievous body harm(GBH) and discharging of firearm in public and robbery of firearm in several occasions until he was found guilty and convicted.

The docket was allocated to Detective Sergeant Andreas Strydom for investigation and through his experience in investigation, he managed to secure the conviction. 

Based on the evidence and testimonies from all the witnesses, the Magistrate accepted both the evidence and testimonies brought before court and strongly believed that the accused had intentions to harm the victim.

Skhosana was convicted on the said charges hence his sentence as follows :

– On the count of attempted murder, he was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment.

– On the count of robbery of a firearm, he was sentenced with 5 years imprisonment.

– On the count of discharging of firearm in public, the accused was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment.

– On the count of assault GBH, Skhosana was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment.

In terms of section 103 Act 60/2000 of fire-arms control act, the accused was deemed unfit to possess a fire-arm.