Accused has a right to sleep during trial, says judge

While a witness was telling the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria how a matric pupil involved in a love triangle was doused in petrol and set alight, one of the accused dozed off as she sat in the dock.

Sharon Gugu Twala, 24, was woken up when Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela said that it was her right to doze off if she wanted to.
But he expressed concern that while a witness was delivering damning evidence against her, she simply slept through it all.

“She has the right to fall asleep, as long as she does not later complain that she did not hear the evidence… I am uncomfortable to proceed with this damning evidence while she is falling asleep,” the judge said.
Twala is facing a charge of murder and kidnapping, together with her friend Cynthia Mosupi, who was the scorned lover.

The pair said they poured petrol over the head of Boitumelo Dlamini “to teach her a lesson” but she somehow caught alight when someone lit a cigarette on the scene.


Last week at the start of the trial. Twala was in tears and through her lawyer said she felt terrible and so guilty that she battled to live with herself. Dlamini died in a veld near Klipgat, north of Pretoria, after she was allegedly set alight.

The court heard that the father of Mosupi’s child had an affair with Dlamini. It was said that Mosupi was livid when she found out.

A friend of the accused, Koketso Moye, who drove the car in which Dlamini was taken to a remote spot, on Monday described the cat fight in the remote spot between the two accused and Dlamini.

She said Dlamini cried bitterly and tried to run away, but Twala and Mosupi slapped her repeatedly. Mosupi tripped her and sat on top of her. They poured petrol over her head as another friend, identified as Victor, made a video on his cellphone. Moye said she turned around to ask Victor why he did not join in the fight. “I suddenly heard a vroom sound, like something catching alight. When I looked back Boitumelo’s head was engulfed in flames.” Mosupi’s legs and backside also caught aflame. She was taken to hospital. Dlamini died on the scene.

Source : IOL


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