South African sentenced to death in South Sudan


South Sudan sentenced a South African ex-colonel to death after convicting him of trying to bring down the government.

Retired colonel William Endley (55) was advising former-vice-president-turned-rebel-leader Riek Machar, whose forces have been fighting a civil war since 2013.

Sentencing him to hang, Judge Lado Eriminio Sekwat said Endley had 15 days to appeal.

Endley was convicted of conspiracy, supplying weapons, espionage, waging an insurgency, sabotage, terrorism and illegal entry into South Sudan.

Defence lawyer Gardit Abel Gar called the verdict a miscarriage of justice and said Endley, who plans to appeal, was a political prisoner who should have been freed under a December ceasefire agreement.

During the trial, Endley attempted to call six witnesses in his defence but none arrived to testify.
“The court chooses to be incompetent and partial in the process,” Gar said.
“It is inconsistent with the just-signed cessation of hostilities agreement which states all political detainees and prisoners of war should be released.”

South Africa’s Department of International Relations said the verdict would be reviewed.
“Our embassy in South Sudan will brief Head Office on the judgement and we will take it from there,” said spokesman Nelson Kgwete.

Endley was on trial alongside a former spokesman for Machar who was handed the death sentence earlier for incitement and conspiracy against President Salva Kiir’s government.