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Pair fatally assault neighbour

by Staff reporter
20 Jul 2018 at 07:37hrs | Views
TWO Plumtree men who stormed into their neighbour's bedroom while he was sleeping with his girlfriend and fatally attacked him using a knobkerrie and a bicycle, were yesterday jailed for 10 years.

Their accomplice, a 17-year-old juvenile, was sentenced to a wholly suspended 12 month imprisonment.

Menzeni Tshuma (36), Thabani Ndlovu (25) and the juvenile who cannot be named for ethical reasons, teamed up and struck 44-year-old Mr Ndabezinhle Ncube with a knobkerrie after accusing him of assaulting Ndlovu's father.

Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese convicted Tshuma and Ndlovu of murder with constructive intent while the juvenile was convicted of assault. Tshuma and Ndlovu will each serve an effective seven years in jail after three years of the sentence were suspended for five years on condition that they do not within that period commit a similar offence. The juvenile was sentenced to 12 months, wholly suspended for five years on condition that he does not commit a similar offence.

In passing the sentence, Justice Makonese said: "The three accused persons launched a brutal attack on the deceased and in doing so they showed no mercy to the victim. The second accused person is a juvenile who found himself in bad company and should therefore be given a second chance to mend his ways. There was no reason why he associated himself with the two co-accused persons who are older than him to engage in a criminal enterprise."

Prosecuting, Mrs Sifiso Ndlovu-Sibanda said the trio went to Mr Ncube's homestead at night on September 19 and found him sleeping with his girlfriend.

They started accusing him of assaulting Ndlovu's father before attacking him using a knobkerrie.

Mr Ncube died on September 21 while admitted to Mpilo Central Hospital due to the injuries sustained following the attack.

"On 19 September at around 9PM Tshuma collected Ndlovu from his home to accompany him to Mr Ncube's homestead to confront him for assaulting Ndlovu's father. Ndlovu summoned the 16-year-old to join them," said Mrs Ndlovu-Sibanda.

The court heard that the trio found Mr Ncube asleep in his bedroom hut and they knocked on the door. Mr Ncube inquired who it was but they didn't respond.

"Mr Ncube eventually opened the door to find out who it was. The trio budged in and Tshuma confronted Mr Ncube accusing him of assaulting Ndlovu's father. Tshuma retrieved a knobkerrie from behind the door and struck Mr Ncube on the head several times," said Mrs Ndlovu-Sibanda.

She said the trio dragged Mr Ncube out of his bedroom hut and struck him with a bicycle on the head. They also took turns to kick and punch Mr Ncube all over the body while he was lying on the ground. Mr Ncube's girlfriend, Ms Lindiwe Ngwenya escaped through the window leaving her boyfriend at the mercy of the three accused persons.

Mrs Ndlovu-Sibanda said the trio assaulted Mr Ncube until he lost consciousness and they fled from the scene leaving him lying on the ground.

Mr Ncube was rushed to Plumtree District Hospital and was later transferred to Mpilo Central Hospital where he died.

Tshuma, in his defence, through his lawyer Mr Nkosi Sibanda of Tanaka Law Chambers, said Mr Ncube provoked them by insulting them after they demanded to know why he assaulted Ndlovu's father. He, however, argued that he did not participate in the fight. Ndlovu who was represented by Mr Maqhawe Mpofu of Samp Mlaudzi and Partners said he had no intention to kill Mr Ncube but acted after he was provoked.

The juvenile through his lawyer, Mr Reliance Ndou of Mugiya and Macharaga Law Chambers said he only slapped the deceased once on the face acting under the instruction of one of the accused persons. He said Ndlovu threatened to assault him if he did not comply with his orders.

Source - chronicle