Cowdray Park woman jailed 5 years for culpable homicide

A COWDRAY park woman, who assaulted her 10-year-old nephew to death using a switch over a missing ZW$100 000, has been slapped with a five-year jail term.

BY SILAS NKALA

Ntombizodwa Ncube (46), who allegedly committed the offence in 2005, yesterday appeared before Bulawayo High Court Judge Justice Martin Makonese, where she pleaded not guilty to murder, but admitted a lesser charge of culpable homicide. She was being represented by lawyer, Blessing Dube.

The State concurred with the plea and Justice Makonese sentenced her to five years in jail. Three years were suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour. The remaining two years were wholly suspended on condition she performs 360 hours of community service at Mahlathini Primary School.

In sentencing her, Makonese said that it was considered that when she committed the offence she was 34 years and now she has matured to 46 years.

“The court considers that you usually suffer from pneumonia and swollen feet. On the assault offence there is nothing to reduce the offence. You exceeded the bounds by indiscriminately, recklessly and heartlessly assaulting the now deceased,” ruled the judge.

“The child died due to haemorrhage inside the body and the brain. Postmortem shows that you used extreme force.

This attack was senseless as it was brutal. The assault did not lead to the recovery of the money. The young person suffered painful death. The courts will not tolerate this kind. Any life whether old or young is important and the courts should guard against it.”

He said Ncube’s conduct was deplorable and evil.

“Although the moral blame worthiness is high, the only fact which saves you is the delay in dealing with this case. A delay in any case is unacceptable and the court urges the prosecution office to review all pending cases so that they are dealt with in time. Even if you were sent to jail at that time you might have completed serving. I agree with the defence that custodial sentence would not make justice after this delay,” Makonese ruled.

Agreed facts are that on March 12, 2005 Ncube alleged that her Z$100 000 meant for another child Kudzai Mabhena’s school fees had gone missing. She confronted the boy Brighton Moyo (10), accusing him of stealing the money. The convict sent Kudzai to get her a switch from a pitch tree before assaulting the deceased until it broke into pieces. She then ordered him to sleep in the living room with other children. The boy slept and died during the night. In the morning Ncube poured water on him and he never woke up. The matter was reported to police.

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