Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
A MAN from Tsholotsho who fatally struck a neighbour with an iron bar for having an affair with his under-age niece has been sentenced to a wholly suspended five-year jail term.
Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nokuthula Moyo, on circuit in Hwange said Mthulisi Dube (38) of Mlotheni area acted in self defence when he attacked Ntobeko Mathunjwa (21) who had ganged up with other villagers to assault him.
Justice Moyo also said Dube was not fit to serve a jail term because of he was of ill health.
Before start of court proceedings, the judge checked if Dube, who looked frail, was fit to stand trial.
“The court considered that the accused acted in self defence as the deceased was the aggressor who ganged up with others to attack him. The court also considered the accused’s condition hence he is sentenced to five years in jail which is wholly suspended for five years on condition that he does not within that period commit an offence where violence is an element,” said Justice Moyo.
Dube, who was represented by Miss Charity Manyeza of Ndove and Associates pro-deo, had pleaded not guilty to murder and guilty to a lesser charge of culpable homicide.
Prosecuting, Mrs Martha Cheda said Dube armed himself with an iron bar intending to beat up Mathunjwa and Mr Millard Tshuma accusing them of having an affair with his 14-year-old niece who was in Form Two.
“On 31 August 2019 and at 6PM, the accused who was carrying a metal rod and Mr Musawenkosi Sibanda went to search for Mr Millard Tshuma who they accused of proposing love to their niece. They found Mr Tshuma at Makhaza Business Centre and confronted him. Mr Tshuma fled from the scene,” said Mrs Cheda.
Mathunjwa and Mr Given Moyo followed up on Dube and Mr Sibanda after being told about what had happened.
They caught up with Dube and Mr Sibanda along a footpath and charged at them. Seeing that Dube was armed, Mathunjwa and Mr Moyo fled, the court was told.
Dube and Mr Sibanda gave chase and caught up with Mathunjwa and struck him once on the head with an iron bar and left him bleeding.
Mathunjwa was rushed to Tsholotsho District Hospital by some villagers before being transferred to Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo where he died after admission. Doctors said Mathunjwa died of severe brain damage and skull fracture.