THE man who wrestled and killed a leopard to death, after it attacked him while on an amacimbi harvesting expedition in January and was later charged for killing the predator has applied for an application for discharge arguing that he killed the animal in self-defence.
Abednigo Moyo from Halale Village in Matobo District near Njelele shrine, Matabeleland South, filed the application through his lawyer Mr Prince Butshe Dube of Mathonsi Law Chambers, who maintained that Moyo had not committed a crime, as indicated by the State but killed the animal in self-defence.
He appeared before Plumtree magistrate Miss Sthembiso Ncube on Friday who postponed the matter to 10 March for a ruling. Moyo is being charged for contravening section 59 (2) of the Parks and Wildlife Act.
In his submissions Mr Butshe Dube argued that the leopard was killed in defence of human life in Mr William Ncube’s farm called Mgumela, which he leases from Matobo Rural District Council.
“The State initially alleged that the offence occurred at Mgumela Farm but after I produced lease documents for Mgumela Farm, the State then spun around and said the leopard was actually killed at Duta Farm. Parks officials who are key witnesses were never shown the exact spot. In the absence of evidence proving that the leopard was killed at Duta Farm, there was no prima facie necessitating the putting of Moyo to his defence,” said Mr Butshe Dube.
He said Moyo was seriously injured and was immediately taken to hospital by other accused persons, Isaac Moyo and Walter Ncube, while one Majoni Dube and William Ncube the owner of Mgumela Farm ferried the dead leopard to his homestead.
“He (Ncube) is aged 84 and went on to advise Matobo Rural District Council, who, however, indicated they had no transport to go to his farm.
“In terms of section 59 (4) of the Parks and Wildlife Act chapter 20:14, it states that the appropriate authority of land can remove any carcass of any animal from his land and that as long as the carcass was removed within the leased farm no offence was committed,” argued Mr Butshe Dube.
Miss Rosemary Mbeure prosecuted. Moyo made international headlines after he wrestled with a leopard which he miraculously fended off by choking it.
Mr Moyo outfoxed the predator by shoving his hand into its mouth in an attempt to block its windpipe.
His brother who was nearby later axed the animal to death.