FREELANCE photo journalist Dumisani Zvandasara, has approached the Chiredzi Magistrates’ Court seeking to have his admission of guilt ticket cancelled and instead be tried in the courts in a case he is accused of illegally taking a picture at a police roadblock.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
In a letter addressed to Chiredzi resident magistrate, Zvandasara’s lawyer Ross Chavi said her client was two weeks ago forced to pay a $20 fine over a crime he did not commit.
“Ours (Zvandasara) wishes is to withdraw the admission of guilt for the following reasons, the admission of guilt was not made freely and voluntarily but rather under duress and unduly influenced,” part of the letter read.
Chavi says her client had denied the offence and was detained by the police for over four hours, and since he had been driving from a funeral with 13 other relatives, he was then forced to pay a fine for allegedly contravening sections of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act.
“He was coming from a funeral at Mkwasine and intended to proceed to another funeral at Silobela and was travelling with 13 other mourners.”
“The admission was, therefore, made in the pressure of the attendant circumstances of the case and the reality of overnight detention in police custody,” submitted Chavi.
Zvandasara, an accredited journalist was made to pay $20 admission of guilt fine and was forced to delete pictures of police officers he had captured on camera transacting private business in the middle of the road.
His lawyer said instead it is the officers who should have been taken to task for converting a roadblock into a place of buying legal aid insurance.
“On the facts, ours (Zvandasara) was arrested for taking photographs at a police spot check when he is a registered journalist and when the roadblock is not a protected area at law,” submitted the lawyer.