A BULAWAYO man allegedly fatally struck his workmate with a steel rod in a row over a hoe.
Vincent Mpofu (46) of Steeldale area pleaded not guilty to murder when he appeared before Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Maxwell Takuva.
After the State, represented by Angeline Munyeriwa closed its case, Mpofu’s defence lawyer, Simba Mawere, submitted that his client committed the offence in self defence.
Yesterday, both the State and defence presented their final submissions to the court with the State arguing that Mpofu committed the offence with intent to harm the now-deceased since he continued to assault him even after he had hit him and he fell down.
The defence submitted that Enock Manyanga was the aggressor, who initially attacked Mpofu and as a result he fought back to defend himself.
Takuva reserved judgment to an indefinite date, saying he needed to look into both the State and defence’s final submissions.
“The court needs to look into the submissions made and the judgment will be made soon after that,” he said.
Prosecutor Munyeriwa told the court that on November 23 2013, shortly after 8pm, Mpofu and Manyanga had a misunderstanding over a hoe, which the security guard had borrowed from a co-worker, Martin Ncube.
Mpofu, Ncube and Manyanga were employed as security guards at Timberland Windows and Doors and lived on the company premises in Steeldale industrial area.
On November 23 2013, Mpofu went to the guardroom within the company premises and had a misunderstanding with Manyanga.
Mpofu allegedly confronted Manyanga accusing him of delaying returning the hoe so that he could weed his fields.
The court heard that Ncube intervened and restrained his two colleagues and Manyanga left the guardroom.
However, later on, Manyanga went back to the guardroom and tried to force his way in, but Mpofu, who was inside, blocked him.
The two men started arguing and Manyanga punched Mpofu, who retaliated.
Mpofu allegedly armed himself with a steel rod and struck Manyanga on the back of his head and he fell down.
He continued assaulting him as he lay helplessly on the ground until he died. Ncube disarmed Mpofu, who was arrested after a police report was made.
In his testimony, Ncube told the court that he was awakened by noise as Mpofu and Manyanga scuffled.
“I was sleeping in my room when I heard some noise emanating from outside and when I went to investigate I saw Mpofu pursuing Manyanga carrying a steel rod,” he said.
“From a distance of about 10 metres, I saw Mpofu striking Manyanga twice on the head with the iron rod.
“Manyanga fell down and Mpofu continued to attack him while he was on the ground and I quickly rushed to the scene and wrestled with the accused until I managed to disarm him.
“I later on tried to render first aid, but unfortunately Manyanga was already dead.
“I phoned my employer who arrived and we proceeded to Mzilikazi Police Station and reported the matter.”