HomeLocal NewsMliswa acquitted of stock theft

Mliswa acquitted of stock theft

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Saltlakes Holdings CEO Temba Mliswa was yesterday acquitted of stock theft and contempt of court charges by Harare regional magistrate Estere Chivasa.

The court ruled that the case, in which the former Zimbabwe national soccer team fitness trainer was alleged to have stolen 56 cattle from Rydings Farm in Karoi, should have been treated as a civil rather than criminal matter.

The magistrate noted that the prosecutor had largely relied on speculation and there was no proof that the agreement of sale between Mliswa and Rydings School chairman Gerald Mlotshwa had been cancelled.

She said legally, the cattle belonged to Mliswa because he lawfully paid for them. She said the State, led by Obi Mabahwana, chose to mislead the court despite there being an agreement of sale.

She said although the State had sought to bring Mlotshwa to testify, the court dismissed the application on professional grounds after counsel for the defence Witness Chinyama had successfully argued Mlotshwa was not suitable to be a State witness since he was once the accuseds lawyer when the offence was allegedly committed.

During the course of the trial, Chinyama produced documents which confirmed that Mlotshwa had sold the cattle to Mliswa and a letter signed by Mlotshwa, authorising the cattles release.

Chinyama also produced a memo written by Mlotshwa to the school bursar informing her that Mliswa had indeed purchased the cattle and a letter signed by the school bursar confirming the payment, was made.

Former Rydings School headmaster Colbert Mpofu testified during the trial that the sale of the cattle had not been sanctioned by the school board.

The contempt of court charge stemmed from the stock theft charge after Mliswa had allegedly defied a court order not to move the cattle from the school until finalisation of the matter.

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