A MAN from Hwange who killed his stepmother before attempting to stab to death his sibling following a misunderstanding over missing chickens has been jailed for an effective 30 years after being found guilty of murder with actual intent.
Reginald Mbuso Siketa (27), attacked and killed his stepmother, Ms Sibonisiwe Mpofu who was 36 years old in 2017 for daring to accuse him of stealing her chickens before turning on his 17-year-old brother, Reggies Siketa.
He offered a lesser plea of culpable homicide but Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Nokuthula Moyo convicted him of murder with actual intent during the third sitting of the Hwange High Court circuit last week. Both counts of murder and attempted murder he was facing were taken as one for the purposes of sentencing.
Justice Moyo said Reginald had planned to kill his step-mother as evidenced by the time he took away after being queried about the missing chickens and only to return armed with a knife in addition to the excessive force used to deliver the fatal blow in a vulnerable place.
In his defence, Reginald argued that the killing was an accident before shifting the blame to alcohol he said he consumed to deal with the accusations he was facing.
“Accused never intentionally stabbed the deceased but he was under the influence of alcohol thus he had no actual intention to kill her. He committed the offence out of anger as deceased had continuously insulted him, calling him a failure in life as well as accusing him of stealing things from his parents,” he said through his lawyer, Mr Thulani Nkala of Dube, Nkala and Company.
It is the State’s case as led by Ms Charlene Gorerino that on 18 March 2017 at about 11am, Reginald, Ms Mpofu and Reggies were all at home at house number E12 Number 5 village, Hwange. Ms Mpofu asked Reginald about some chickens which had disappeared from the refrigerator following his arrival from their rural home in Gweru.
The court heard that Reginald did not respond and hastily left the place only to return later around 5pm. He proceeded to the spare bedroom where he armed himself with a home-made knife before going into the sitting room where he found Ms Mpofu mopping the floor.
He then stabbed her once on the left side of the back below the shoulder. Screaming in pain, she called out Reginald’s name before Reggies came rushing into the room to find out what had just happened. Reggies found Reginald standing besides Ms Mpofu with a blood stained knife.
Reggies then pushed his brother away from the deceased, an action that did not go down well with Reginald who reacted by stabbing him once also in the lower side of the abdomen. He sustained a deep cut in the stomach as a result of the attack.
Reginald then fled the scene leaving the two bleeding profusely on the floor. Reggies managed to call for help. He together with Mr Thembinkosi Khumalo ferried Ms Mpofu to Hwange Colliery Hospital but she died on her way. Four days later, Reginald handed himself over to the police.