9/30/2005

S. African Gets Life for Lion-Pen Death - Yahoo! News

Good God, what a horrible crime! The poor guy was hit with a machette, then tied to a post and left to be eaten by lions. His "crime" ? Taking unauthorized time off from his chores for a personal errand at a white guy's farm! This reeks of slave discipline. Thanks God the courts gave the slave master and his "enforcer" life in jail. I hope they get sent to an all black prison!!! -- law

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - In a case that shocked South Africa for its brutality, a white farmer was sentenced to life in prison Friday for the murder of one of his black workers, who was attacked with machetes, tied up and thrown into a lion enclosure, where he was devoured.

The trial brought impassioned protests from demonstrators who saw the killing as another racial attack in a country still grappling with its apartheid past.

Many in the courtroom in the northern town of Phalaborwa whistled and cheered in approval when Mark Scott-Crossley, 37, was led out after the sentencing.

Human rights advocates said the killing also highlighted the plight of farmworkers in a country with a culture of violence and a history of racial hatred and mistrust. South Africa's Human Rights Commission said in a 2003 report that attacks on farm workers were common. Most are black or mixed race, and their bosses are white.

Judge George Maluleke sentenced Scott-Crossley to the maximum of life in prison for the killing. Scott-Crossley's employee and co-defendant, Simon Mathebula, was sentenced to 15 years because the judge found he had been coerced by his employer. The pair were convicted in April.

The judge said life sentences should only be imposed to protect society from a repeat of the crime or when the offense is so monstrous it demands harsh punishment.

"No crime fits this description more than the one before me and there is no doubt it would warrant this extreme punishment," the judge said.

Nelson Chisale, 41, had been fired two months before his Jan. 31, 2004, murder for allegedly running a personal errand during working hours. According to testimony at the trial, Chisale was assaulted with machetes after returning to pick up some belongings and then was tied to a stake.

S. African Gets Life for Lion-Pen Death - Yahoo! News

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