Donile denied leave to appeal murder sentence

From Talk of the Town, January 24 edition

CONVICTED MURDERER: Tonny Donile received an effective 27 years imprisonment for culpable homicide, housebreaking and murder in the Port Alfred Regional Court

Convicted murderer Tonny Donile was denied leave to appeal his sentence at the Port Alfred Regional Court on Friday.

Donile seemed to have a lot of support from the members of the gallery present.

He was found guilty of several crimes and sentenced to an effective 27 years imprisonment when he appeared in court on December 14. There were three counts on which Donile was sentenced: culpable homicide for a crime committed in 2010 for which he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, housebreaking in 2016 for which he was sentenced to two years imprisonment and the murder of Noel Maddocks, also in 2016, for which he received 17 years. The housebreaking and murder sentences are to run concurrently.

The details of the case have been well publicised and Friday’s appeal was to have the sentences reviewed. Magistrate Kenneth Cooney was unmoved as Donile’s attorney, Mark Botha, argued that the cumulative effects of his sentence were not taken into effect when sentence was handed down.

In rebuttal, prosecutor Johan Carstens said that Donile’s entire defence was based on the idea that there was a conspiracy against him.

“There is no proof that there was any conspiracy against Mr Donile,” said Carstens. “He has blamed everyone from the emergency services personnel, the doctors, to his partner, in fact everyone. [His] initial defence for not staying at the murder scene of Mr Maddocks was fear of racism on the side of the police. What would be the motive for such a large conspiracy?”

Cooney made reference to the facts as presented in court over the more than two years over which the trial ran, before denying Donile leave to appeal his sentence.

After the court adjourned a defiant Botha said that the case was not over.

“It’s only just begun,” he said. “My client was given 10 years for culpable homicide. That is not in accordance with the law. I have reviewed cases of culpable homicide and the maximum sentence that can be imposed is six years. Even Oscar Pistorius [referring to the Reeva Steenkamp murder in 2013 that concluded with the Supreme Court of Appeal changing Pistorius’ guilty verdict to one of murder and increasing his sentence in 2017] only received five years for culpable homicide.

“We will take this to the Supreme Court of Appeal is that is what it takes.”

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