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Inyanga’s murder defence crumbles


THE defence case of an inyanga, who allegedly stabbed his wife’s suspected lover with a knife, which he claims was instructed to always carry by ancestral spirits, yesterday crumbled, as a High Court judge crashed most of the submissions made by his lawyer.


Bekezela Maphepha Mpofu (46), represented by Innocent Mafirakureva denied the murder charge when he appeared before Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha Mpofu.

He is alleged to have killed his neighbour Nkululeko Sibanda (30) after suspecting that he had an affair with his wife Bekezela Ndlovu (26).

Yesterday both the State represented by Nokuthaba Ngwenya and Mpofu’s defence lawyer made their final submissions on the case.

Defence lawyer Mafirakureva faced a hard time when he made submissions on behalf of Mpofu, as the judge seemed to be rebutting most of his arguments.

Mafirakureva had submitted that it was not in dispute that his client stabbed Sibanda 14 times, but said it was because he was angry, frustrated and desperate following suspicions that his neighbour had an affair with his wife.

“It was dark in the hut when the deceased was stabbed and there was confrontation between Mpofu and his wife before the deceased was stabbed,” Mafirakureva said, but was interrupted by the judge.

“It does not need lights for one to stab someone,” the judge interjected.

“You are two, with someone in a hut, and you are carrying a knife to stab him, does that need light?

“It is like you are trying to say he would have said let me stab him on the hand, or here or there.”

Mafirakureva said Mpofu might have been irritated by the call, which he said was made by Sibanda at 10pm when he was already asleep, asking him if he had asked his wife if it was true that the neighbour and his wife had been intimate.

But Kamocha rebutted this, saying in his statement to the police, Mpofu said he stabbed Sibanda because he was sleeping with his wife and he has was HIV-positive, meaning the traditional healer and his wife had also been infected and would die.

“He is a suspicious man, he suspected that the deceased was sleeping with his wife and there is no evidence,” the judge said.

Mafirakureva further said that there was a fight between Mpofu and Sibanda, which resulted in the stabbing.

This prompted Kamocha to attack the lawyer. “You are not talking like a lawyer, if you have no meaningful submissions you must say so than to say someone who stabbed somebody 14 times, driving a 16cm blade into someone’s body and you say he had no intention to kill.”

When Mafirakureva said Mpofu had been angered by the issue of his wife sleeping with Sibanda, Kamocha said: “Those who catch their wives in the act are not allowed to kill, they are not allowed to take the law into their hands.

“But this one only suspected.

“We cannot kill each other because we suspect someone to be sleeping with our wives.”

Prosecutor Ngwenya submitted that Mpofu must be found guilty of murder with actual intent in that his aim was to kill Sibanda, as he armed himself and travelled a distance from his home to his rival’s home where he killed him.

She said Mpofu went on to stab Sibanda 14 times in the top part of the body and the post mortem report showed that the attacks were severe considering the depth of the wounds.

“It is the State’s view that the accused killed the deceased with actual intent in anger and frustration, as he suspected that the deceased was a threat to his marriage,” Ngwenya said.

Kamocha remanded the matter to today for judgment.

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