PORT ELIZABETH, May 31 – Three men charged with a quadruple murder were acquitted in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Wednesday.
Randall Calvert, 27, Trenley Dickenson, 26, and Sherwin Joseph, 18, of Helenvale were found not guilty of shooting dead four people at a tavern in Arcadia during January last year.
The three were also acquitted on seven counts of attempted murder and the unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.
They allegedly went to the tavern where they killed four victims, two men and two women, who died in a hail of bullets. According to evidence before court, three of the four victims sustained multiple gunshot wounds to their bodies.
The State alleges that the gunmen, along with others, arrived at the tavern in a white bakkie, jumped off and started firing shots.
The State further alleged that the men were driven by a motive to eliminate three men who had left their gang.
Judge Dayalin Chetty said that he could not rely on the evidence of two eyewitnesses and the accused persons were entitled to the benefit of the doubt.
Chetty said that at the time of the incident, self preservation must have have been first and foremost, hence witnesses claim of positively identifying the shooters was a fantasy in the extreme.
“To say he purposefully looked at the accused to identify him is ludacris,” Chetty said.
The court also made reference to instances where gang members would make false cases against rival gangs.
“Both witnesses confirmed that gang members conspire against nemesis to secure convictions in courts of law,” said Chetty.
– African News Agency (ANA)