55-year-old man could face 15 years in prison
DESPITE being a first-time offender, a 55-year-old Kimberley man, David Masou, could face 15 years in prison after he was found guilty of fatally stabbing another man with a broken bottle in Galeshewe in October last year.
The accused’s legal representative stated during the start of his sentencing in the Northern Cape High Court yesterday that the reason why Masou had stabbed Vuzumsi Ivah Jonas was because he was angry, pointing out that alcohol had also played a role.
“It is an extraordinary situation for a 55-year-old man to be appearing in court as a first-time offender,” his lawyer said.
He added that Masou had also been working for his present employer, the Department of Health, for more than 30 years and was still working there.
He stated further that Masou had only stabbed Jonas once, out of anger and due to drunkenness, pointing out that he had also admitted guilt from the start of the proceedings.
He argued that there were extraordinary and compelling circumstances for the court to deviate from the minimum prescribed sentence of 15 years. Instead he asked the court to impose a sentence of five years, due to the age of the accused, the fact that he was a first-time offender and that he had pleaded guilty.
The State, however, argued that there were no extraordinary circumstances, pointing out that witnesses had testified that the deceased had just arrived on the scene when the incident happened.
“There was no evidence that the deceased was drunk and we also do not know the extent to which alcohol had an impact on the actions of Masou as he did not testify,” State prosecutor, advocate Joylene Mabaso, said.
She pointed out that there was also no evidence before the court that the deceased had been drinking.
Mabaso stated that Masou had been found guilty on a serious charge.
“The charge is so serious that the law has set a prescribed minimum sentence of 15 years, even if the accused is a first-time offender.”
The State pointed out further that violence has become the order of the day and should not be tolerated. “The community expects that offenders be dealt with. The accused attacked the deceased without provocation. There was no reason for him to stab the deceased.”
She added that the evidence before the court indicated that the accused was the aggressor. “According to the doctor’s report, an unusual amount of force was used.”
Mabaso said further that the accused had time to reflect on his actions but he still broke the bottle and stabbed the deceased. “He had direct intention.”
She also pointed out that the accused had tried to mislead the court by trying to convince the judge that the deceased had provoked the incident. “This shows that he is not remorseful.”
According to witnesses, the accused wanted to run away after the incident and was also “very rude and was swearing at members of the community”.
“Jonas’ death had a negative impact on his family. The accused did not attend his funeral or sympathise with the family.”
She described Jonas as a kind person, who was loved by the community. “He did not deserve to die in such a manner.”
She submitted that Acting Judge, Ntombizanele Ndlokovane, should not deviate from the minimum prescribed sentence of 15 years.
“The aggravating factors outweigh the extenuating factors, and the personal circumstances of the accused are ordinary and not extraordinary.”
The case was postponed until later this week for the judge to hand down her sentence.