THE mistress of a former British soldier Alexander Wood (54) who was found hanging in their rented house in Bulawayo’s Fourwinds suburb two years ago, yesterday said she was too drunk to notice that her “husband” was committing suicide.
Senior Court Reporter
Gugulethu Henrietta Dube made the revelation during the ongoing inquest into the death of Wood whose relatives strongly believe was murdered by the mistress so that she inherited his assets, including unspecified cash.
Wood’s family from the United Kingdom requested an inquest into the former SAS soldier’s death after local police said it was suicide.
In her evidence-in-chief led by State counsel Jerry Mutsindikwa on the events leading to the day when Wood was found hanging on March 10 2012, Dube said when they arrived home she immediately went to the bedroom and fell into a deep slumber as she was too drunk.
“When we arrived home Wood gave me his jacket to put in the bedroom while he proceeded to the kitchen where he had left his tablets,” she said.
“I left to sleep since I was drunk and went into a deep slumber and only woke up at around 7am the following day, but found him not in bed.
“Since I assumed that he was sleeping in the other room I decided not to wake him up since he was very drunk the previous night and tired because he had come back from Harare driving alone.
“I decided to awaken him at around 9am because he had an appointment with someone to go to the mine (in Matobo) to fix Internet connections.
“I then saw the door to the spare bedroom open and on entering the room I found him on the window hanging and ran and called the gardener Blessed (Sibanda).”
Earlier on Dube had said she drank beer from about 4pm to 7pm at a car wash in the city centre belonging to her friend she identified as Mbuso.
“We had gone to have our vehicle washed at Mbuso’s car wash,” she said.
“However, he later asked Mbuso to accompany him to Horizon to see our lawyer.
“Wood later phoned saying he couldn’t see the lawyer and asked Mbuso to come and take him back to the car wash.
“When he arrived he said even if the vehicle had not been washed, he no longer wanted to be there.
“I asked him why, but he did not tell me. He appeared angry and did not want to divulge what had angered him.
“He left and I remained at the car wash with my friends drinking beer.”
Dube said she later phoned Wood asking about his whereabouts, but he was not picking her calls.
“I then sent him a message and he replied saying he was involved in an argument with some people, but could not tell me his whereabouts,” she added.
“I decided to call Mandlenkosi Nkala, (taxi driver) so that we go and look for him at his favourite drinking spots at Bulawayo Athletic Club, Busters and Horizon but did not see him.
“We decided to go to BAC where we continued drinking and he phoned me and came there.
“He bought a drink and was shuttling between chats with us and the owner of the pub called Davie. At 11pm we decided to go home and since he was very drunk I asked Nkosilathi Dube to drive us home with the taxi driver (Nkala) escorting us so that he would return with Nkosilathi.”
Dube said although she was drunk she could appreciate what she was doing unlike Wood whocould not drive and had to ask Nkosilathi to drive them home.
“Nkosilathi and Nkala left us home and they went back after I refused Wood to continue drinking as he had invited them into the house to drink a bottle of alcohol we had brought from South Africa,” she said.
The inquest was postponed to Monday with three more witnesses expected to testify.