BY RICHARD MUPONDE
A CHIPINGE white farmer, who shot and injured his employee claiming that he had mistaken him for a stray dog and blaming the victim for the incident, has been convicted of negligently causing serious bodily harm to the employee.
Joubert Francois Johannes (36) of Lushof Farm, pleaded not guilty when his trial started before Chipinge magistrate, Joshua Nembaware last month.
He was, however, charged with negligently causing serious bodily harm to his employee, Frank Makuyana. In his defence, he said Makuyana was to blame for not being at his usual workplace at the time of the shooting.
“I was not negligent at all. It’s the complainant who is to blame. Had the complainant not moved away from his usual workplace, he wouldn’t have been shot,” Johannes said.
Nembaware convicted him on Tuesday and remanded the matter to June 11 for sentence as the court seeks to apply to the Prosecutor-General (PG)’s Office for increased sentencing jurisdiction.
In convicting him, the magistrate noted that Johannes did not take proper care in the circumstances.
“In convicting the accused, the court noted that the accused didn’t act like a reasonable person in the circumstances. He didn’t exercise proper care and wasn’t even remorseful, he blamed the complainant for his negligence,” Nembaware said.
In mitigation, through his lawyer, Langton Mhungu, Johannes pleaded for a non-custodial sentence, arguing that he was a first offender who had no intention to injure the complainant. However, in aggravation, prosecutor Gift
Bikita called for a deterrent sentence.
The court then stopped proceeding in terms of section 54 (2) of the Magistrate Courts Act and will now request for increased sentencing jurisdiction from the PG’s Office.
Bikita told the court that on October 5 last year, Johannes and his employee, Fuyana were under a dairy shed at around 6am.
Johannes then saw stray dogs which had entered his kraal and went to his farm house to collect his shotgun.
At the same time, Fuyana also left the shed going to the guardroom, where he wanted to prepare a meal.
When the farmer returned, he fired at the stray dogs, killing one instantly and another bullet reportedly strayed and hit Fuyana on the stomach and he suffered serious injuries.
He was rushed to hospital, where he was admitted and the bullet was removed. A report was made to the police, leading to Johannes’ arrest.