A 39-YEAR-OLD suspected Zanu PF activist, who went on the rampage and destroyed huts at a village in Shangani, Fort Rixon, was recently slapped with an effective 30-month jail term after being convicted of destroying property and attempting to kill a village headman’s 13-year-old nephew.
Bonani Mahlangu initially pleaded not guilty to the charges when he appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Gladmore Mushove, but was convicted and sentenced to a total of 36 months before six months were suspended on condition of good behaviour.
The court heard that on June 11 this year, a group of people, including Mahlangu, went on a rampage destroying property at Ernest Nxumalo’s homestead in Ensangu Village 5.
During the rampage, the court heard, a teenager, Panashe Neka, escaped from his bedroom hut as it was being demolished, but some members of the marauding gang pursued him and when they caught up with him, they struck him twice on the head with a stone and he sustained a fractured skull.
In his statement to the police, Nxumalo said on the day in question, a group of people stormed his homestead armed with stones, knobkerries, and axes and ordered family members out of the huts before destroying them.
“My grandson Panashe Neka got out of the room and tried to escape. Stanford Khoza informed me that Panashe had been struck with a stone,” he said.
In his defence, Mahlangu said on the day in question he had gone to fetch firewood and never went to Nxumalo’s homestead and never assaulted the teen, claiming the allegations against him were fabricated.
According to Nxumalo, on the day in question, a group of around 200 people, led by a well-known Zanu PF activist, pounced on his home and accused him of challenging them.