A Chipinge white commercial farmer, who allegedly shot his employee, told the court that he had mistaken him for a stray dog.
Joubert Francois Johannes (36), of Lushof Farm, appeared before Chipinge magistrate Joshua Nembaware last week and pleaded not guilty to negligently causing serious bodily harm to the employee.
In his defence, Johannes said he did not intend to shoot the complainant, Frank Fuyana, but mistook him for a stray dog.
“It was drizzling and there was mist so I didn’t see the complainant,” Johannes said, before applying for discharge at the close of the State’s case through his lawyer Langton Mhungu.
The complainant, Fuyana, also appeared to be exonerating his boss in his evidence-in-chief after he said Johannes mistakenly shot him as he wanted to shoot stray dogs which had invaded his farm.
However, Nembaware ruled that Johannes had a case to answer and should be placed on his defence.
The case continues tomorrow.
Prosecutor Gift Bikita told the court that on October 5 last year, Johannes and his employee, Fuyana were under a dairy shed at around 6am.
Johannes then saw stray dogs which had entered his kraal and went to his farm house to collect his shotgun.
At the same time, Fuyana also left the shed going to the guardroom, where he wanted to prepare a meal.
When the farmer returned, he fired at the stray dogs, killing one instantly and another bullet reportedly strayed and hit Fuyana on the stomach and he suffered serious injuries.
He was rushed to hospital, where he was admitted and the bullet was removed.
A report was made to the police, leading to Johannes’ arrest.