A FORT RIXON man speared his neighbour's herd boy to death after returning home to find him romping with his wife on their matrimonial bed, a court heard.

Fanuel Ncube, 37, of Village 3, Pioneer Estate in Insiza District, yesterday appeared before Justice Lawrence Kamocha at the Bulawayo High Court charged with murder after stabbing his love rival with a spear.

Ncube denied murder, insisting that Ndabezinhle Sibanda accidentally stabbed himself with the spear during a tussle.

Justice Kamocha deferred the matter to Friday during which both the state and defence lawyers will tender their written submissions.

Prosecuting, Whisper Mabhaudhi told how on the night of February 5 this year, shortly after 9PM, Ncube flew off the handle after walking in on the two in his bedroom hut.

He picked up a spear and drove it through Sibanda's head, killing him instantly. Love cheat, Catherine Dope, 22, fled in terror and hid in a maize field.

The court heard that Ncube arrived home unexpectedly from Bulawayo where he worked as a security guard and knocked on the door of his bedroom hut. There was no response, but he could hear voices coming out of the candle-lit room.

"He became suspicious and kicked the door open and found his naked wife in bed with Ndabezinhle and their two year-old son," said Mabhaudhi.

Livid, Ncube picked up a spear and two knobkerries. He struck Sibanda twice on the forehead with a knobkerrie. As the victim lay helplessly on the floor, he drove the spear through his head.

After the grisly killing, the court heard, Ncube went to his uncle, Mhlabeni Sibanda's homestead and told him what he had just done.

Sibanda told the trial: "My nephew came rushing to my home and told me that he had killed his neighbour's herd boy after he found him in bed with his wife.

"We then informed our neighbours and quickly went to the scene and we found the victim lying in a pool of blood. The blood-stained spear and knobkerries were next to the body. It was such a horrific sight. The spear had pierced through the skull, cracking it open."

Sibanda told the court that Fort Rixon police, who were called to the scene, said they had no transport and only arrived the following day and arrested Ncube.

Ncube told the court he only acted in self defence as Ndabezinhle attacked him.

"I arrived home and it was raining when I knocked on the door, but there was no response although the candle was lit. When my wife eventually opened the door, that's when I found Ndabezinhle and he tried to flee, but I managed to block him during which we started wrestling," he testified.

"As we were fighting, Ndabezinhle looked around and picked a knobkerries and a spear intending to strike me. I realised that I was in danger. I then managed to grope for another knobkerrie, which was hanging on the wall and started assaulting while at the same time trying to disarm him."

Ncube said he managed to overpower his rival.

"As he lay on the floor on his back, he was still holding the spear and he was struggling to strike me, but I pinned him down. As I was pondering on my next move, Ndabezinhle was busy struggling to dislodge me during which he accidentally stabbed himself on the neck.

The next thing he was motionless," he argued.

Ncube told the court that Ndabezinhle had prior to the incident been harassing him. He also added: "I had a long standing domestic feud with my wife over her extra-marital affair with Ndabezinhle. The community leadership and my uncle had failed to take any action and on that particular day I saw no point in informing them of the intruder in my hut."

Mabhaudhi challenged Ncube's testimony, describing it as untruthful.

"You're an untruthful witness. I put it to you that you got incensed after going home and finding Sibanda in your bedroom with your wife. You then picked up the spear and intentionally killed the victim as you wrestled each other.

"You only let go of the victim when you noticed that he was dead," said Mabhaudhi.

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