A BEITBRIDGE Rural District Council ambulance driver allegedly fatally assaulted his wife with an iron bar in a domestic dispute on Wednesday night and attempted to commit suicide three times before handing himself over to the police.
Matabeleland South provincial police spokesperson Inspector Philisani Ndebele was said to be out of office, but a police official in the border town, who cannot be named due to protocol, said the man identified as Justin Muleya was being detained at the Beitbridge Police Station after his wife Matsiliso Mutevheli died at the scene of the attack. Mutevheli was a nurse aid at Beitbridge District Hospital.
"On Wednesday night at around 11pm, Muleya was involved in a domestic dispute with Mutevheli. The dispute later degenerated into a scuffle and he picked up an iron bar and struck his wife on the back of the head and she fell unconscious. After realising that Mutevheli was unconscious, Muleya disappeared into the darkness," said the police official.
The cop said neighbours at the district administrator's camp where the pair resided, rushed to the house and summoned an ambulance to ferry the seriously injured Mutevheli to Beitbridge Hospital after finding her unconscious.
"The ambulance crew pronounced her dead on arrival and called the police. Muleya emerged a few moments later and was immediately arrested and is in police custody as we speak and is likely to appear in court tomorrow (today)," the police official said.
The police detail further revealed that Muleya had tried to commit suicide by hanging himself soon after realising what he had done, but failed.
"Muleya confessed that he tried to hang himself thrice, but the rope broke on each occasion. Investigations are still underway and he might appear in court tomorrow (today)," the cop said.
A neighbour said there had been a long-standing dispute between the two over Mutevheli's alleged infidelity, but they never thought it would end in tragedy.
"There were issues between the two for some time. There was a rumour that the wife was having an affair and Muleya had approached several people to rebuke her," said a neighbour.
"Just last week, Muleya and Mutevheli's relatives met over the misunderstanding, but they too failed to resolve it. No one suspected that this would be the end result."
The killing comes a week after another man from Dulibadzimu high-density suburb in the border town murdered his live-in girlfriend and stashed her body in a wardrobe for two days before committing suicide.
The 24-year-old man only identified as Tafadzwa, beat his 29-year-old live-in girlfriend to death accusing her of infecting him with HIV.
In a suicide note, the ex-convict, who was released from prison in November 2013 after serving a two-year sentence for theft, revealed that he had killed his lover for infecting him with HIV.
The man's body was found hanging by residents fetching firewood from the Beitbridge Town Council's farm located close to the Limpopo River.