The Chronicle
Nonsikelelo Moyo, November 22, 2017

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Two who were accused of killing 13 elephants by poisoning them using
cyanide in Jambezi were yesterday acquitted after the magistrate said
police failed to conduct thorough investigations before arresting them.

Zwelitsha Tshuma (37) from Jambezi and Sitshuwade Msipa (47) from Jabula
village outside Victoria Falls were arrested last month.

Victoria Falls magistrate Ms Lindiwe Maphosa yesterday set the duo free
saying police did not do proper investigations before arresting them.

“Police didn’t do proper investigations, it boggles the mind as to why they
didn’t search the homes of accused persons. It doesn’t make sense why
they’d search a witness” home and then go on to arrest the two accused
based on what a witness had told them, said Ms Maphosa.

She said police had also relied on evidence that was forced out of
witnesses. “Eight suspects were initially arrested but only these two
remained because of evidence forced out of Gift Tshuma which isn’t
sustainable in court. Thorough investigations ought to have been done. I
therefore find accused persons not guilty,! said the magistrate.

The duo, had through their lawyer Mr Thulani Nkala of Dube and Company,
pleaded not guilty to charges of using a toxic substance on the environment.

Prosecuting, Mr Takunda Ndovorwi had said Tshuma, Msipa and Shepard Siwela
who is on the run, poisoned the elephants using orange peels mixed with
cyanide. Between 5 and 12 October at Masikili Communal Lands, Nywenywe
Springs in Jambezi, Tshuma, Msipa and Shepard Siwela who is still at large
acting in common purpose discharged cyanide granules mixed with orange
peels into the environment, said the prosecutor.

This news service is provided by Save the Elephants.

For further information on elephants please see Save the Elephants’ web site