THE trial of three Gwanda men accused of murdering three women and a baby before mutilating their bodies in Stanmore area near Gwanda has resumed, with one of the three murder suspects testifying in court.
Mncedisi Ndlovu, represented by Tanaka Muganyi, Bhekimpilo Mthethwa represented by Nathan Mashayamombe and Nhlanhla Sibanda represented by Ndabezinhle Mazibuko pleaded not guilty to the four counts of murder when they appeared before Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese.
Prosecutor Whisper Mabaudhi asked Mthethwa to testify in court and he told the court that he and Sibanda knew nothing about the murder case.
He said at some point while they were in remand cells he asked Ndlovu, the first accused, how they had been implicated in the matter and Ndlovu told him that he and Sibanda were suffering over something they did not do, while people who committed the offence were scot-free.
“I asked him why he did not tell the court the same thing and he said if he revealed that in court it would be like he was admitting to the offence,” he said.
“He said we better suffer together rather than for him to say something that implicates himself.”
Mthethwa said following these revelations, he wrote a letter to the prosecutor Mabaudhi stating the claims made by the first accused and pleading with the State to look into the matter.
The other accused are expected to testify on the matter.
The allegations are that between November 18 and December 8 2010, the three killed three women and a seven-month-old baby girl in the Stanmore area and mutilated their bodies.
It was the State’s case that on November 18 2010, the trio attacked and killed Meglina Mahlangu who had left Bulawayo for her home in Stanmore.
They allegedly cut off her breasts and private parts before concealing the body and taking away the deceased’s belongings.
Mahlangu’s family later filed a missing person’s report with the police.
Human bones were later discovered scattered around some rocks and a report was made to the police.
A black bra and a small plastic bottle with some jelly belonging to Mahlangu were recovered from Sibanda, one of the accused persons.
On December 1 of the same year, the alleged murderers pounced on Nothando Siziba, who had arrived at Stanmore from Bulawayo with her seven-month-old baby.
Siziba’s relatives looked for her in vain.
Her mother heard that a human body had been discovered in a shallow grave and she went to the scene where she positively identified the body as that of her daughter.
The baby’s remains were found at the scene. Acting on information received from members of the public, police recovered Siziba’s clothes from Ndlovu’s girlfriend.
A week later the three allegedly murdered 81-year-old Ntombana Ncube who had arrived in the area from Collen Bawn.