Chief Felix Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni of Ntabazinduna, who was last week jointly convicted with his 23 subjects of malicious damage to property, has approached the High Court seeking bail pending appeal.
While the traditional leader’s subjects were all spared jail after their conviction, Chief Ndiweni is set to for an effective 18 months in jail.
In his bail application at Bulawayo High Court, Chief Ndiweni’s lawyer Mr Dumisani Dube of Mathonsi Ncube Law Chambers said:
The applicant submits that his admission to bail pending the determination of his appeal does not in any way endanger the interests of justice in that he is a chief and an established member of his community who is also a family man and has no prospects of absconding.
It is therefore only fair, proper and just that the applicant is admitted to bail pending the determination of his appeal.
Even if his conviction were to be upheld by this honourable court, his appeal against sentence has reasonable prospects of success in that the custodial sentence imposed by the court a quo induces a sense of shock.
Dube contended that the magistrate failed to give compelling reasons for discriminating against Chief Ndiweni by denying him the option to perform community service while his co-accused were granted that option.
The State is yet to respond to the application.