By Staff Reporter
THE case involving Mining Consultant David Thompson hit a snag this week after presiding Magistrate Lerato Nyathi recused herself from the matter.
Thompson pleaded not guilty to two charges – contravening Section 27b of the Firearms Act, pointing a firearm, and Section 951 of the Criminal Codification and Reform Act, criminal insult.
The court had been expected to deliver its ruling on his application for discharge, but Nyathi instead recused herself after she contended that she was unable to pursue the matter, having read all submissions.
Thompson’s request for discharge will now be decided upon by a different magistrate who will rule over the case.
The state alleges Thompson pointed a gun at property assessors inspecting a property where he was resident and used a racial slur against Tafadzwa Bondoro calling him a baboon.
Thompson contends there is no reliable evidence on which a reasonable court could safely convict.
In opposing his discharge application, prosecutors contend that two witnesses have provided evidence that the accused pointed a firearm towards them.
Evidence from a firearm produced in court matches the description of the complainants, the court heard.
Further, prosecutors argued that Thompson was aware that he was going to meet people at the gate and used the racial slur when he got there.
Defence lawyers argued discrepancies in the witnesses’ testimonies. The State submitted that these discrepancies were minor and immaterial. Prosecutors argued that the firearm was pointed at the complainants by accused person.
Prosecutors further assert that they have managed to prove, on a balance of probabilities, that essential elements constituting the offences have been proven, and that the accused should be put to his defence.
“What is apparent at this stage is that a prima facie case on a balance of probabilities has been laid by the state requiring the accused person to give an answer,” prosecutors told the court.
“It is worth noting that at the close of the State case, the state is only mandated to establish a prima facie case unlike at the close of all evidence when the guilty is to be established beyond reasonable doubt.”