A FILABUSI man who fatally struck his cousin with a knobkerrie following an argument over the US dollar and South African rand exchange rate has been sentenced to 14 years in jail.
BY SILAS NKALA
Lenin Mhlophe (23) of Sibantubanye village in Filabusi killed his cousin Mmeli Tshili (21) last year on July 1.
Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha yesterday convicted Mhlope of the charge and sentenced him to an effective 14 years in jail.
Prosecutor Nokuthaba Ngwenya described what happened on that evening at a nightclub at Vokola business centre in Filabusi while the pair were watching a football match on television.
The two cousins decided to go outside to play snooker while listening to music played in the bar from Mhlophe’s mobile phone memory card.
Tshili liked the music and quickly offered to buy the memory card from Mhlophe.
Tshili bought the memory card from Mhlophe for $6 and expected to get $4 change from R100.
An argument ensued when Mhlophe gave Tshili only $3 saying the exchange rate for US dollar to the South African rand was not 1:10 as he claimed.
His continued demand for a $1 angered Mhlophe who then dashed back into the nightclub to get a knobkerrie which he used to hit Tshili on the head once.
Tshili fell to the ground. Mhlophe rode his bicycle and fled into the night leaving his cousin lying unconscious.
Tshili’s uncle, Majaha Masuku tried to perform first aid on Tshili before he was rushed to Filabusi District Hospital where he was referred to the United Bulawayo Hospitals.
Two days later Tshili’s condition got worse and he died.
A postmortem report indicated he died due to intra-cranial haemorrhage, depressed skull fracture and blunt force trauma.
Mhlophe’s lawyer Caroline Mudenda defended him saying he only acted in self-defence.
She said he did not intend to kill Tshili. She said Tshili was the aggressor and Mhlophe only reacted after he had been pushed against the wall.