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Two students at a private college in Harare were yesterday ordered to perform 245 hours of community service after they were convicted of taking turns to assault a colleague while their peers took cellphone videos of the incident.

The video was shown at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts yesterday and has gone viral on social networking platforms.

Tashinga Ashley Mugayi (20) and Demetria Jeki (21) accused Ashleigh Makora of insulting them and uploading photos of a drunk Jeki on a social network website.

Jeki also took Makora’s bag and threw the contents to the ground, resulting in her losing US$1 270 cash during the scuffle. The money was to fund her brother’s school trip to South Africa.

Magistrate Ms Blessing Murwisi convicted Mugayi and Jeki after a fully contested trial and sentenced them to 14 months in prison before setting aside seven months for five years on condition the pair does not commit a similar offence within that period.

The remaining seven months were set aside on condition the duo performs 245 hours of community service with Mugayi working at Mabelreign Clinic and Jeki at Mabelreign Police Dog Section during weekends starting this Saturday.

Ms Murwisi castigated the pair’s behaviuor, saying bullying in schools could lead to fatalities.

“Even though the court noted that the two are youthful first offenders and should be kept out of prison, what they did is uncalled for and they deserve to be punished therefore a deterrent sentence should be passed.

“If they were not youthful offenders, the court was going to pass a different sentence because bullying in schools could lead to loss of lives,” she said.

The two argued that Makora had provoked them.

In aggravation, prosecutor Ms Patience Chimusaru likened their behaviour to that of wild animals.

“As females, especially considering their ages, they are not expected to behave such, their behaviour is inhuman. The offence was preplanned for they even brought a sjambok which they used to beat her.

“It clearly shows that they are heartless and ruthless and the complainant was traumatised. What is aggravating is that they even called their colleagues who were cheering them and taking videos.

“The assault was done in a brutal nature and only a custodial sentence will meet the justice of the offence,” she said.

The college principal said the two would be brought before a disciplinary committee and appropriate action would be taken.

On April 14, Mugayi and Jeki force-marched Makora into an alley between Baines and Fife avenues.

They ordered her to apologise to them before taking turns to beat her up.

Source : The Herald