Village quarrel turns ugly: Man beaten to pulp over hat

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Three individuals from Nyamandlovu have been apprehended following an incident where they allegedly attacked a fellow villager with logs during a dispute over a hat.

The accused individuals, namely Bongani Nyoni (19), Russel Mbewe (22), and Felix Nyoni (44), recently appeared before Magistrate Mrs Vivian Ndlovu at the Bulawayo Regional Court. They are facing charges of assault under section 89(1)(a) of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act Chapter 9:23. The trio is presently in custody and their trial will resume on 2 October.

According to the state’s case, as presented by Prosecutor Ms Constance Mhlanga, the incident took place on 24 August 2023 at approximately 7pm. The complainant, Hlanganani Dube, was accompanied by his friend Maxwell Moyo when they encountered one of the accused individuals, Bongani. An altercation ensued between Bongani and Moyo over the latter’s hat.

Following the disagreement, Bongani departed but returned later accompanied by the other two accused persons, armed with logs and a knobkerrie. Moyo managed to flee the scene, leaving Dube behind. The accused individuals then proceeded to assault Dube with the logs and knobkerrie, inflicting injuries on various parts of his body. After the assault, the assailants fled, while the complainant reported the incident, leading to the subsequent arrest of the accused individuals.

During the court proceedings, Bongani and Mbewe pleaded not guilty, asserting that they did not assault Dube. Instead, they claimed that their interaction escalated into a physical altercation between themselves. They denied using logs to strike the complainant. The third accused, Felix, who is Bongani’s father, contended that he was not involved in the altercation. He stated that he had only admonished the others against fighting.

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