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Judicial CP - May 1999

The Swazi Observer, Mbabane, 14 May 1999

News in Brief

Boy (13) held for arson

THE Hlathikhulu Swazi National Court found a 13-year-old boy of Kontjingila in the Shiselweni region, guilty of setting alight a hut in what appeared to be a revenge attack.

The boy pleaded not guilty to the charge before Court President Mahlabayidlele Dlamini.

The court was told that the juvenile was caught red-handed stealing chickens by Vusi Mango (26) the person whose hut was later set alight by the boy.

It was said that Mango after catching the boy handed him over to Mphikeleli Mgabhi (44) a community police in the area to hand him over to the state police the following day.

Giving evidence Mgabhi said he received the boy from Mango and took him to his house.

"It was already dark when Mango handed the boy over to me for stealing chickens and I decided to detain the boy in my house. I never thought that the boy would escape, but I tied him up with a rope and gave him blankets to sleep," he said.

He said he continued doing his rounds and later went to sleep after checking that the boy was safe.

"I was surprised by my colleagues who later woke me up and asked where the boy that I had detained earlier was, and when I went to check, I found him gone," he said.

He said he was then told that the boy was on the loose and had already set two huts on fire.

"We then arrested him again the following day at Bhambhada bus stop with the help of his father," he said.

Delivering sentence Dlamini warned the boy against such actions.

"Young as you are, you have to refrain from indulging yourself in criminal activities, because doing so will land you in prison in the near future," he said.

The court found the boy guilty and sentenced him to three strokes.

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