The Extension II principal magistrate, Dumsile Faith Dlamini-Ng’andu, this week called on the police to wake up from their slumber and start taking stern measures against prisoners who employ all sorts of tricks to defeat the ends of justice.
Ng’andu said prisoners gave false testimonies before court with impunity.
“They lie in court in order to release their fellow prisoners from prison. They eat food at the expense of tax-payers. And with their bellies full, they come and give false statements,” the magistrate said, adding that the prosecution should this time around open a case against convicted but not sentenced Percy Nkweyakgosi.
Nkweyakgosi, 26, and a prisoner from a previous sentence, Matshediso Boikanyo, 21, were charged with robbery. Nkweyakgosi pleaded guilty whilst his co-accused pleaded not guilty.
As a result, Nkweyakgosi was convicted on his own plea of guilty and his sentencing was reserved whilst Boikanyo’s case was continued.
Leading his evidence in chief, Boikanyo vehemently denied ever committing robbery against Thomas Pilane, the complainant.
He told the court that he met Nkweyakgosi at his home in Tlokweng on the morning of May 22, 2005, the day after the robbery.
Called upon by his colleague to corroborate his utterances, Nkweyakgosi testified under oath that Boikanyo was not present when the crime was committed against Pilane. Nkweyakgosi said he was with a certain Jack from Zimbabwe when he robbed Pilane of P500.
Asked on cross examination if he knew he was under oath Nkweyakgosi answered in the affirmative.
Confronted with Boikanyo’s earlier evidence in chief that said that they met each other at his place (Nkweyakgosi’s) and not at Mphatlalatsane Bar as he alleged, Nkweyakgosi backpedaled and said, “We met each other at Mphatlalatsane Bar not at my home.”
With such conflicting versions, the prosecution asked both men who between the two of them was lying to the court; Nkweyakgosi said his co-accused was lying.
As the cross examination intensified and with the first offender Nkweyakgosi confused and unable to hold it any more, he eventually succumbed and stated that he was with Boikanyo when they robbed Pilane.
He said he had been requested by Boikanyo to do him a favour and as such he ended up lying and committing an offence of perjury.
The maximum sentence for perjury is seven years.