THE appeal by a Tylden man, sentenced to two life terms on charges of sexual assault in 2015, has been successful.The Rep reported (‘Life terms for Tylden rapist, 22’ August 7, 2015) that the Queenstown Regional Court had sentenced Sibusiso Tamba, who was still at school at the time, to two life terms following the sexual assault of boys in Tylden near Komani in February 2012.
The defence had indicated that Tamba was a first time offender and only 18 at the time the offences were committed. Tamba had pleaded not guilty on both counts.
Magistrate Mputumi Mpofu said at the time that the lives of the victims would not be the same and that the minimum sentence for such offences was life in prison.
After the sentencing, Tamba’s family approached local attorney Francois Mostert senior for assistance. Mostert, who did not represent Tamba during the trial, studied a transcribed copy of the record, advising that there were good prospects of success in appealing the convictions and sentences.
The matter was taken on appeal on July 27 before the High Court in Grahamstown. Advocate Carien van der Merwe of Grahamstown successfully argued the matter. The appeal was based on a lack of evidence and the rejection of the version of the accused which was reasonably possibly true.
Judge MJ Lowe found that the evidence, which was lengthy and in some instances complicated, did not establish proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Furthermore the State did not prove that the alibi defence of Tamba was also not reasonably possibly true.
Judge Lowe and acting Judge R Rugunanan ruled that the appeal by Tamba, who has served a year in prison, would be allowed and that his sentences were set aside. – Rep reporter