Unrepresented accused

S v Tinodya & 3 Others (HH 215-18, CA 668/16 Ref CRB 3503-7/16) [2018] ZWHHC 215 (25 April 2018);

The court considered a criminal appeal, where the applicants had been charged for contravening s7(1)(a) or (b) of the Communal Land Act, by occupying or using communal land without lawful authority. The applicants pleaded guilty and were convicted and sentenced to pay a fine of $5000 or 30 days in prison. The appellants appealed the conviction on the ground that the court committed an irregularity by failing to proceed in terms of the correct procedure. 

They contended that by entering a guilty plea, the court had a duty to safeguard the fair trial rights of the accused by adopting a procedure which was most likely to suggest a defence where there was one.

The court considered whether the appellant’s conviction was lawful. It observed that with unrepresented accused persons, there was the ever-present likelihood that out of ignorance of the law, a person would admit to charges of a complex nature out of a desire to draw sympathy of the police or the courts and the onus was upon the court to choose a procedure which would have given the appellants a possible defence.

The court found that the conviction was wrong and remitted the matter back to the lower court. In addition, the court below would be required to take cognizance of s 16 of the Act which required that following a conviction, an order for eviction be granted. Accordingly, the appeal succeeded.

TAVENGERWEI TINODYA

and

AGNES MUCHINA

and

BESTI MUNGONO

and

FUNGAI WENGE

versus

THE STATE

 

 

HIGH COURT OF ZIMBABWE

HUNGWE & WAMAMBO JJ

HARARE, 29 March 2018 & 25 April 2018

 

 

Criminal appeal

 

 

D Mudadirwa, for the appellant

Mrs S Fero, for the respondent

 

S v Kamone (HH 216-18, B 1559/17) [2018] ZWHHC 216 (13 December 2017);

EVERISTO KAMONE

versus

THE STATE

 

 

 

HIGH COURT OF ZIMBABWE

MUREMBA J

HARARE, 13 December 2017

 

 

 

Bail Application

 

 

 

Applicant in person

Mrs S. Fero, for the respondent

 

 

            MUREMBA J: On 13 December 2017, I heard the applicant’s application for bail pending appeal and dismissed it in an ex tempore judgment. I have now been asked for the written reasons thereof and these are they.

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