Suspected land grabber, Vincent Wandale supporters have been suspended jail sentence to 12 month.
Senior resident magistrate Thokozani Soko said the charges the 21 were answering of criminal trespass and illegal take over of land among others were a misdemeanour.
Soko said the first and second offences of consipiracy to commit a misdemeanour and criminal trespass attract a punishement of one-month imprisonment each while that of unauthorised use of land attaracks a sentence of one year.
She said the sentences were to run concureently which means they could stay in jail for one eyar.
Soko said she did not want to impose custodial sentence because the Thyolo land grabbers were first offenders and that they had shown remorse on their conduct by pleading guilty at the earliest opportunity.
She however told them not to get involved in any other offence for a year and they should ensure they bring peace in their area.
In addition, they were told to pay K5000 cash each and to provide surety to the court for the one year suspended sentence.
They have been on remand for over a month now after they were arrested for trying to take over some land owned by Comforzi Tea Estate in Thyolo.
Wandale and two other suspects remained in police custody as they pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The police prosecutors immediately paraded four state witnesses against the three suspects who are also alleged ring leaders in the land grabbing exercise.
A police investigator told the court Wandale was arrested in 2014 over similar offences.
The owner of Comforzi Tea Estate Suleman said he has lost a lot because the land grabbers cut down macademia trees.
District Commissioner for Thyolo, Thombozi said he told traditional leaders to tell their subjects against taking land illegally after Wandale met the DC.
A lands official in Thyolo said his office was overwhelmed with applications for land as people identified as Peoples Land Organisation followers wanted to pay K3500 for land at Comforzi. The case continues on Tuesday.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :