A drunk woman who was dragged to court for hitting a relative of the deceased with a brick at a funeral after she was accused of speaking ill of the deceased heaved a huge sigh of relief after she was acquitted of an attempted murder charge.
Michell Moyo (25) appeared for trial before Western Commonage Court regional magistrate Sibongile Msipa-Marondedze facing a murder charge for reportedly hitting Kwanele Queen Ncube with a brick on the head. The drama-filled incident happened in Emakhandeni suburb in Bulawayo.
Moyo pleaded not guilty to the charge. After a full trial she was acquitted.
In acquitting Moyo the magistrate said: “It was clear that Moyo was assaulted by more than seven people and in self-defence when she was lying down she picked a stone and threw it aimlessly to defend herself. She was alone being assaulted by a group of seven people and she was taken into a house and no one was allowed inside the house and was severely assaulted until the police were called and took her to a police station.”
The magistrate added: “The action taken by the accused was necessary. It is not in dispute that Moyo uttered vul_gar words but that does not justify the deceased’s relatives to assault her the way they did. In trying to defend herself she picked a stone and threw it aimlessly and unfortunately it hit Ncube. The accused cannot be said to have exceeded the bounds of self-defence and the action taken by the accused was necessary to avert the attack. As a result the State has failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt and self-defence is a complete defence. The accused is found not guilty and acquitted.”
The court heard that on the fateful day Moyo arrived at the funeral wake in the company of her two friends at around 11pm and sat among mourners. Things took a nasty turn when Moyo uttered a vul_gar word saying: lowu ngums*zo (This is a fa*t in reference to the sudden death of her friend who was also her drinking mate and was utterly shocked by it).”
Soon after that a relative of the deceased named Mkhokheli Ncube charged at Moyo and landed a blow on her head before other six family members joined in assaulting her, Moyo told the court.
As if that was not enough, the court heard, they dragged her inside the room which was full of mourners and they continued bashing her until they tore her blouse and left it in tatters.
An elderly male relative tried to restrain them but he failed as they pushed him aside and locked Moyo inside a bedroom, the court heard. Some of the angry mourners turned to Moyo’s friend and accused her of having stolen their jacket and after that they bashed them.
One of the relatives phoned a police officer and within a few minutes two police officers arrived at the chaotic scene and upon seeing the police officers angry mourners stopped bashing them. Moyo was arrested for hitting Ncube with a brick.
Ncube took to the witness stand and said: “Moyo arrived at around 11pm with her friends and found us singing during the funeral wake. Moyo started to speak bad things about my late brother. I asked her to leave because my relatives were grieving. She walked and stood beside a tent and that’s when my younger brother confronted them asking them to leave.”
She added: “I then followed them when I realised that they had surrounded my brother and when I was a few metres from them that’s when Moyo hit me with a brick on the head. After that Mkhokheli apprehended her and phoned police officers who arrested her.”