Former Blue Bulls rugby player Joseph Ntshongwana, who was sentenced in 2src14 to five life terms, is a “dangerous criminal” who has to remain behind bars, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has ruled in dismissing his appeal.
Ntshongwana, dubbed the “axeman” for committing a spate of murders in which his victims were attacked with an axe, and some decapitated, was found guilty in the Durban high court of four murders and one count of rape.
In June 2src21, a bench of three KwaZulu-Natal judges dismissed his first attempted appeal against conviction and sentence.
He then appealed this in the Supreme Court of Appeal, which this week unanimously ruled against him.
The issues during his trial, and appeal in KwaZulu-Natal, was whether at the time of committing the crimes, he lacked the capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct, or act in accordance with that appreciation.
The three KwaZulu-Natal judges rejected his claims that he was mentally ill and could not be held responsible for his actions.
While state witnesses were cross-examined, their evidence was not disputed by Ntshongwana, who claimed he had no memory of committing the crimes.
He did not testify.
Writing for the court, SCA acting judge Leonie Windell, said in the latest appeal, Ntshongwana’s lawyer had argued that it was not disputed that Ntshongwana was able to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct — the real issue was whether he had capacity to act in accordance with that.
It was argued tha
…. to be continued
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