COURT proceedings had to be adjourned on Wednesday after a murder suspect claimed he was being pursued by the person he allegedly killed, forcing a Bulawayo High Court Judge to order that an ambulance be called for him.
This was during the trial of Mduduzi Mathema and Isaac Nyakurerwa who allegedly strangled a security guard to death before stealing wares from a city flea market.
Both of them pleaded not guilty to murder charges before Justice Martin Makonese.
After the plea, Mathema fell sick and claimed the deceased was now haunting him, forcing Justice Makonese to postpone the matter to Thursday for continuation of the State Case.
“This case has been moved to tomorrow as we cannot continue with the trial,” he said on Wednesday before ordering that medical attention be sought for Mathema. Proceedings failed to kick off Thursday as prison inmates had no transport to ferry them to court.
Mathema (30) and Nyakurerwa (35) reportedly took the late Vengai Murisi’s phone before fleeing with clothing items whose total worth is unknown.
Prosecuting, Mr Whisper Mabaudhi told the court that the two hit the now deceased with a plank on the head before strangling him on February 10 in 2013.
“The deceased and the accused persons were not related and they did not know each other prior to the events leading to the deceased’s death. On February 10 at around 7PM, Murisi reported for duty at Mutize and Son Flea Market situated along Lobengula Street between 8th Avenue Extension and Leopold Takawira,” said Mr Mabaudhi.
“During the course of the night, the accused persons in the company of a third person who is still at large, arrived and found the deceased sleeping at Stand Number 92.”
The court heard how they attacked Murisi and secured his hands and legs using wire coat hangers.
“They assaulted Murisi on the head with a plank and further strangled him using a jacket until he died. His body was discovered the following morning by Mr George Gwachari who called the police.
“Mathema and Nyakurerwa stole clothing items and fled from the scene,” Mr Mabaudhi said.
According to Mr Mabaudi, the two men were later arrested and it was discovered that they had sold some of the clothing items to people who live as far as Plumtree.
“Police also recovered the deceased’s phone during indications. A post mortem report showed that he had died due to strangulation,” he said.
A total of 36 witnesses are set to testify against the two men who come from Mbundane and Makokoba suburbs.