Soldiers kill villager over bicycle

THREE soldiers based at the Bulawayo’s 1 Brigade allegedly killed a Fort Rixon villager following a dispute over a bicycle.

BY SILAS NKALA

Ntandoyenkosi Sibanda (26) of Pumula South, Bright Nyoni (28 of Empumalanga in Hwange and a Mwembe (30) of Jotsholo were not asked to plead to a charge of murder, when they appeared before Bulawayo magistrate, Stephen Ndlovu for initial remand on Saturday.

The magistrate remanded them in custody to November 23.

The court heard that last Thursday, the three assaulted Josiah Sithole (46) of Plot 26, Hamilton in Fort Rixon leading to his death.

It is alleged that on the fateful day, the trio were at Plot 10 Mayfair in Fort Rixon, where they acted in common purpose to assault Sithole all over the body using a plank and at the same time pulling his private parts, while kicking him several times on the head.

They allegedly dragged him on the road for about 70 metres.

Sithole’s body was found by villagers at the scene and they tracked the suspects’ footprints leading to their arrest.

Allegations are that the three soldiers were coming from a beer drink at Masudu Business Centre, when, along the way, they saw their colleague, Emmanuel Mkhize, who is also based at 1 Infantry Brigade.

Mkhize was lying drunk along a gravel road, next to a bicycle that belonged to the late Sithole.

The trio tried to wake their colleague up, but failed and decided to take the bicycle with them for safekeeping.
Sithole allegedly arrived and demanded his bicycle.

The soldiers refused, claiming the bicycle belonged to their prostrate colleague, resulting in a quarrel between them and Sithole.

The three then attacked him leading to his death.

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