HomeLocal NewsChivero disaster a ritual act: State

Chivero disaster a ritual act: State

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The State yesterday accused the four men on trial for causing the death of 11 children at Lake Chivero on Christmas Day last year, of conspiring to perform a ritual act which led to the drowning of the children when the overloaded boat in which they were crammed sank.

The remarks were made by prosecutor Michael Reza while cross-examining the boat driver, Enock Yolani Zulu.

“I put it to you that the four of you conspired to perform a ritual act on Christmas Day,” said Reza, to which Zulu simply responded: “Those are your thoughts.”

Reza said the fact that Zulu and Fadil Ramon, a boat crew member, allegedly winked at each other and asked the children to “kiss their lives goodbye” was indicative that the accident was pre-planned.

The quartet, comprising of the owner of the boat, Latif Ameer (53), his relatives Ramon (27), Joseph Abrahams (37) and Zulu (36), had applied for discharge at the close of the State case but provincial magistrate Tendai Mahwe dismissed the application and put them to their defence.

Ameer and Ramon are represented by Hamios Mukonoweshuro, Abrahams is represented by Jacob Ali Jogee while Zulu is unrepresented.

Under cross-examination, Ameer denied ever instructing the unlicensed Zulu to drive his unregistered family boat on the day in question.

Ameer told the court that upon hearing of the accident, he also panicked and thought it was his relatives that had been involved since he had provided the boat specifically for his family to have fun on the lake but not for hiring.

But Zulu, who initially told the court in his defence that he had been instructed by Ameer to drive the boat, later changed his statement and said he wanted money and as such volunteered to take the children on a joyride on the lake.

The trial continues next week.

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