- Published on 12 December 2014
- Written by Chronicle
'Samukeliso Sithole', a famous suspected Bulawayo gay man who masqueraded as a female athlete and competed in national and international athletics events was last night murdered in Bulawayo's high-density suburb of Sizinda by her brother after an ugly dispute over a family wardrobe.
Sithole was stabbed on the chest by 'her' brother Kelvin Sibanda and died at Mpilo Hospital around 8pm. Sibanda is now on the run.
According to police sources, doctors and all those present when the body of Sithole was stripped were shocked to discover that the athlete was actually a man.
Sithole was wearing three tights to hide 'her' anaconda. 'She' was also wearing a bra that held two balls of cotton as breasts.
Sithole's grief stricken boyfriend who had accompanied 'her' to hospital left in a huff after medical staff informed him that his woman was of the same sex as him.
In an interview, one of 'her' relatives revealed that Sithole's real name was Mduduzi Sibanda.
Before 'she' was discovered to be a man, Sithole was a successful athlete and had in the past few years amassed a lot of wealth and bought several undeveloped stands and properties in Kwekwe.
Sithole competed in international events as a female. The athlete, who was multi-talented, competed in triple jump, javelin, shot-putt and running, grabbing gold and silver medals.
Sithole was once jailed for impersonation and causing psychological damage to female teammates
'She' was charged with impersonation and causing psychological damage to teammates after they discovered that 'she' was masquerading as a female athlete. 'She' would walk into the changing room while other female athletes were undressing or watched them while showering.
Sithole also had the sports world agog when in 'her' defence, 'she' claimed that 'she' was born with both male and female genitals. An examination by doctors later failed to corroborate 'her' story.
Six witnesses, including two doctors, told the court that the athlete was not a hermaphrodite, after which he admitted to being a man. He was jailed for four years in 2005, but was released in December 2007 after serving part of his jail term, for "good behaviour".
The then 18-year-old won the only gold medal for Zimbabwe at the Southern Region Championships in Botswana in June 2004. He also scooped five gold medals and a bronze in long jump, shot-putt, javelin, high jump and 400m hurdles at a provincial youth championships in Masvingo, while competing as a female.
The Lancashire Steel Athletics club runner was arrested while waiting for a train with friends in Kwekwe in 2005, shortly after another man busted his disguise.
His life of deceit started at Ndhamathuli Secondary School in Silobela in early 2004 when some teachers at the rural institution fraudulently acquired a birth certificate belonging to Samukeliso Sithole, a Form Four pupil at the school, for him to use at competitions.
The scandal left the National Association of Zimbabwe Athletes with an egg on their face as "she" was touted to be one of the young talents to emerge from the country.
After being exposed as a fraud, Sithole went underground and only re-emerged in 2010 as a boxer. The Zimbabwe Amateur Boxing Association (Zaba) barred him from competitive boxing after resurfacing in Chiredzi where 'she' had become an instant hero. Sithole then went quiet again only until yesterday when 'she' grabbed headlines after being killed by 'her' brother.