HORROR: Argument over sangoma’s powers turns bloody as man gets stabbed to death


An argument over the prowess of traditional healers turned bloody as a fight broke out between two Nkayi men leading to a fatal stabbing.

Melinkosi Ndlovu who was aged 32 at the time, of Koto village Siduli under Chief Madliwa in Nkayi was convicted of culpable homicide for the death Rangisai Ndlovu (43) following an argument over the performance of a traditional healer.

He pleaded not guilty to murder but was convicted of culpable homicide when he appeared before Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nokuthula Moyo sitting on circuit in Hwange last week. He was sentenced to two years imprisonment of which 1 year was conditionally suspended leaving him with an effective one year jail term.

In passing judgment, Justice Moyo said she had taken into account that Melinkosi had acted in self-defence and had suffered a pre-trial incarceration of 13 months.

“Deceased was the aggressor he assaulted accused and was restrained. He did not want matters to rest even after being caused to leave accused’s homestead he still came back armed with a stick.

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“Deceased depicted himself as a man of violent disposition which brought about his own demise. Accused though was acting in self-defense, he exceeded the bounds. It is unfortunate that human life was lost.”

“However, accused’s moral blameworthiness in the given circumstances is low. Ordinarily accused would have been given 3 years in prison with his weighty mitigations but the courts cannot turn a blind eye on the fact that a life was lost,” she said.

According to a statement of agreed facts between the state led by Mrs Charlene Gorerino and defense counsel, a Ms T. Chikwandare of Mhaka and Associates, on 9 August 2021 Melinkosi, Rangisai, Ben Sibanda and Bornwell Ndlovu were walking home when they had a misunderstanding at a place called Gaweni over the performance of a certain traditional healer in Zoza area of Nkayi.

Rangisai punched Melinkosi and a fight ensued before Ndlovu restrained the two but they continued arguing. Melinkosi walked faster and left everyone else behind before they found him standing at his homestead. Rangisai who was still seething with anger grabbed Melinkosi by the collar intending to assault him but was stopped by Ndlovu who force-marched him out of Melinkosi’s homestead.

However, Rangisai walked about 40 metres with him towards his home before making a U-turn after parting ways with Ndlovu. He stood by the door and started shouting at Melinkosi who came out armed with a spear and knife before his wife dispossessed him of the weapons. He went on to advance towards Rangisai who was armed with a stick and was struck on the forehead before both fell to the ground.

Rangisai tried to strike Melinkosi again on the head but missed and hit him on the knee before the stick broke. Melinkosi stabbed Rangisai on the chest with a knife before bolting into the bush screaming that he had killed someone. This attracted Ndlovu who returned to Melinkosi’s homestead and observed that Rangisai had died.

— Chronicle

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