A 17-year-old boy from Makhakhabule village in Beitbridge allegedly stabbed a 28 year old man to death after the deceased’s friend had spilled beer belonging to the teenager’s colleague.
This was heard by the Bulawayo High Court Judge Justice Nokuthula Moyo when Mayford Ndlovu, now (18), appeared before him charged with the murder of Robert Mudhau of Dulibadzimu Township in Beitbridge.
Ndlovu, represented by Kenneth Lubimbi, pleaded not guilty to the charge and submitted that it was not his intention to kill Mudhau, but he killed him in self-defence, as the deceased was the aggressor.
Both the state, represented by Nokuthaba Ngwenya, and the accused made their final submissions yesterday and the judge remanded the matter to today for judgment.
In his defence, Lubimbi submitted that Ndlovu accepts that he stabbed Mudhau once on the head with an Okapi knife thereby causing his death, but he did not intend to kill him.
“He did not appreciate that the stabbing would lead to the deceased’s death and regrets that he stabbed the deceased thereby causing his death,” Lubimbi submitted.
“The accused was acting under the influence of alcohol. He will say that he stabbed the deceased in self-defence as the deceased was the first to stab the accused on his right hand middle finger leaving a permanent scar.
“The deceased also hit the accused with a bottle as the accused tried to restrain him and Mpho Nyoni from assaulting his brother Elton Ndlovu.”
In his oral defence, Ndlovu said he did not have the knife but he snatched it from Mudhau when the deceased wanted to stab him.
But the state, represented by Ngwenya, submitted that Ndlovu’s oral defence was not credible, as he had deviated from his statement he made to the police.
The court heard that on June 6, 2014 at 4pm Mudhau was at Chamunanga Primary School playing grounds with his friends Nyoni and Richard Dean Noko watching interprovincial schools ball games competitions.
Also in attendance was Ndlovu in the company of his friends Emmanuel Ndou, Onias Moyo, Elton Ndou and Linson Mbedzi.
A misunderstanding arose after Nyoni spilled Onias’ beer. This degenerated into a fist fight between Ndlovu and Mudhau.
Ndlovu allegedly produced a knife from his pocket and stabbed Mudhau once on the head and escaped from the scene.
Mudhau sustained a deep cut on the head and was taken to Beitbridge Hospital where he died on June 7 at 1.30am. A post mortem report produced by Sanganayi Pesanayi states that Mudhau died due to brain damage, skull fractures, stab wound and homicide.
The state relied on Nyoni’s evidence that Moyo, who was holding a glass of beer bumped into Freedom Siziba as he was very drunk.
Nyoni said he took the glass of beer and poured the alcohol on the ground.
“This did not go down well with Siziba, who then returned with his friends demanding their beer.
“Noko then took the glass of Viceroy Brandy that I was drinking and poured it into their glass and the group went away,” he said.
Nyoni said Elton Ndou then threw a beer bottle at him trying to hit him but he missed.
“I then took a switch and tried to assault Elton but I missed as he snatched it,” he said.
“One Respect Muleya then took the switch from Elton Ndou and this led to a fight between Elton and his friends.”
Nyoni said Ndlovu, who had been watching from a distance, then rushed to the scene and produced a knife before stabbing Mudhau who fell down and out of fear Nyoni said he left the scene.
His evidence was corroborated by Moyo.
Mutuli Hove, a police officer, said when he went to the scene of the fight, he found Mudhau lying down bleeding from the head, while his friend Noko was trying to stop the bleeding using a hat.
He said he then asked Desmond Chikore to take him to hospital.
The state also relied from other police officers, Rodwell Muchengandava, Andrew Magwenzi and Takesure Buzu’s evidence and that of Pesanayi, which corroborated that of the first three witnesses.