Court resumed the next day. There were some exchanging of documents amongst the parties. Max Chandler and Mrs Motloung seemed to be using that opportunity to cover up some remaining aspects of their defence strategies.
“All rise in court,”
Everybody stood up and then resumed their seats after the judge got seated. The prosecutor handed over some papers to the judge.
“This court is now in session.” The judge announced.
“Your honour, this proceeding is a continuation of case number Mx 20/07, adjourned yesterday on the 22nd /11/07.
“The court shall afford the defence team and opportunity to call its last witness over to you, Mr Chandler.”
“Your honour, I would like to call Mr Ringo Masingana, the ballistic expert who shall share his professional analysis of the incident of the 18th February 2007.”
Usher cop quickly went out and hollered: “Ringo Masingana, Ringo Masingana!”
Ringo responded and was led to the witness box, where the judge asked him to give his name and profession.
“My name is Ringo Masingana. I am under the employ of Ballistic Expert of South Africa, the state owned entity whose main duties is to analyse and investigate the origin, impact, type and registered owner of any kind of projectile used, legitimately or otherwise. The results of our findings are mainly used for evidence in the country’s courts. I have achieved my Bachelor’s degree in psychology, Master’s and Doctorate degrees in forensic psychology at the University of Stellenbosch in Cape Town.”
The judge then swore him in and handed him over to Mr Chandler.
“Thank you your honour, and you Mr Masingana for being so broad in describing your job. Can you please proceed to explain to this court the extent of your investigations with regard to the firearm handed over to your office, belonging to Mr Dladla and having being involved in a shooting of the 18th February 2007.”
“The said weapon was handed over to me on the 19th February 2007, for normal routine confirmation of ownership and clearance from any other illegitimate use which might have taken place prior to the night in question.
“What model and calibre was the said weapon?”
“It was a nine millimetre, 7.65 model hand-gun which carries eight bullets in its magazine Sir, but one can still feed one more bullet in the chamber to increase the quantity to nine.”
“How powerful is this weapon, I mean can we classify it among one of the most powerful hand-guns or what?”
“Not at all Sir. This is one of the medium category calibre weapons. It is fatal at close range. It is twice as powerful to a baby-brown but three times less to a normal Z88 or CZ 75 mostly used by the state in the police force.
“Following your analysis on this particular incident, how can you explain the behaviour of the victim? Especially, why did he not fall at the first shot, which might possibly have been to his head?”
“Different factors could have influenced the results of the impact. For instance, the weight of the target and its direction of motion during the impact, also what is important is how tall the target is versus the weight at which it was hit.”
“From your analysis can you agree with me, should I suggest that by the time the target was fired at, it was in motion towards the defendant?”
“That is correctly so.”
“What more have you deducted from the behaviour of the target or the weapon, did you find important to bring to the attention of this house, besides what I already asked you?”
“The weapon used to fire at the target was of low calibre, and had failed to push the target to fall backwards since it was moving, probably fast towards the defendant.”
“Would you agree with me once again, if I may suggest that for the defendant to have fired so many shots towards the target it was simply because the target did not show any signs of responding to the shots, say by falling to the ground or something?”
“That is also true. For someone who was acting on thwarting a life threatening situation, it was unlikely for him to have ceased fire before he was certain of his safety.”
“No further questions your honour.”
“You’re welcome Mr Chandler,” the judge said. “Counsellor, is the state ready to cross examine Mr Masingana or can the court first adjourn for a twenty minutes tea-break?”
“I would suggest a tea-break first your honour. It is some kind of inconvenient to cut cross-examination short to go for tea-break.”
“This court is adjourned until after tea-break.”
“All rise in court.”
Tell us: What do you think of the prosecutor?