Ex-British soldier committed suicide, doctor tells inquest

DOCTOR Sanganai Pesanai, who conducted an autopsy on former British soldier Robert Alexander Wood’s body, yesterday told the court he died of suicide.


Pesenai was testifying in the on-going inquest into Wood’s death before Bulawayo provincial magistrate Elias Magate.

This comes a week after it was revealed that Wood’s private parts were dripping with blood when the body was discovered, triggering suspicions by relatives that he might have been murdered.

Wood, who owned Goodenough Mine in Matobo district, was found hanging at his house on March 10 2012, but his family, which lives in the United Kingdom, suspect that he was killed by his customary wife Gugulethu Henrietta Dube.

Yesterday, Pesanai told the court that he examined Wood on March 12 2012 at the United Bulawayo Hospitals.

“As a result of the examination I was of the opinion that the cause of death was asphyxia (a condition of severely deficient supply of oxygen to the body that arises), hanging and suicide,” he said.

The medical report indicated that Wood was found hanging from a window burglar bar and his stomach was empty with a strong smell of alcohol.

The other remarks on the report were that the post mortem was consistent with hanging.

The examination by Pesanai indicated that Wood was suspended from the burglar bar by a belt while his right foot was supported on the bed and blood covered his shorts from a ruptured vein on the scrotum.

The State represented by Jeremiah Mutsindikwa also called Esnath Moyo, the grandmother of Wood’s wife, Dube, whose signature is said to be in the will that was allegedly written by Wood appointing Dube as the sole beneficiary of his estate.

Moyo could neither confirm nor deny that the signature on the will was hers saying only that there were many papers which were brought before her and she could no longer remember if it was the will she signed or not.

Moyo signed as a witness.

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