Court name
High Court of eSwatini

Dladla and Another v Rex () [2000] SZHC 37 (28 March 2000);

Law report citations
Media neutral citation
[2000] SZHC 37
Coram
Sapire, CJ









SWAZILAND
HIGH COURT


Mbongeni
Dladla


Nkalashana


Mavimbela


Appellants


v


REX


CRI.
APPEAL NO. 10/2000


Coram Sapire,
CJ


Maphalala,
J


For
Appellants In person


For
Crown Mr. Sibandze


JUDGMENT


(28/03/2000)


The
two appellants were charged in the subordinate court of Shiselweni
held at Gege. The first appellant was charged on two counts of
robbery. As far as the 2nd appellant is concerned there are two
additional counts, count 2 also robbery and count 3 contravention of
Section 11(8) of the Arms and Ammunition Act. The convictions are
amply supported by the evidence and there is very little to be said
for the appeals on the merits.


The
first appellant was identified by the complainant on the second count
with which he is charged and he made a confession in regard to the
first count. In this court the appellant sought to argue that the
confession was not freely and voluntarily made. This was not the
stance taken by him in the court a quo. In the court a quo there was
no challenge to the confession which was made before a magistrate who
testified to the statement having been made freely and voluntarily.
The customary questions were put to the appellant who made no mention
of any undue influence or


2


any
undue force or anything untoward having been applied to him to induce
him to confess.


I am
satisfied that there is no reason to interfere with the decision of
the magistrate on the convictions.


There
is also an appeal against the sentences. In so far as the second
appellant is concerned he was sentenced to various terms of
imprisonment on the 4 counts and it was ordered that the sentences
run consecutively. The practical effect of this is that the sentence
is 21 years which, for a first offender, is really something which is
practically unheard of.


Both
appellants seem to be reasonably young men and while we do not lose
sight of the seriousness of the offence we consider that the ultimate
sentences should be reduced. This is not a case where there is any
misdirection by the Magistrate in relation to any particular count
and we cannot interfere with the sentences imposed. What we can do is
to alter the sentences only in so far as the question of them running
consecutively is concerned.


In
the case of the 1st appellant therefore the appeal will succeed to
the extent that the sentences on count 1 and count 4 are to run
concurrently in so far as 3 years of each sentence is concerned. So
that the accuse will serve 6 years in respect of the first count and
on the second count a further 6 years which 3 years will run
concurrently with the sentence on the first count.


In
respect of the second appellant the sentence will be similarly
reduced in that the sentences on the first and second counts will run
consecutively while the sentences on the 3rd and 4 counts will run
concurrently with the sentences on the first two counts. The effect
of sentence in his case will be 10 years because on count 2 there is
an option of a fine and the Magistrate suspended 2 years on certain
conditions.


The
effect of the sentence therefore is that the sentences on count 1 and
count 2 that is 6 years. The sentences on count 3 and 4, will run
consecutively to the sentences on counts one and two but concurrently
with each other, making the effective sentence 10 years.


Sapire,
C.J


Maphalala,
J