A 36-YEAR-OLD man from Kezi, Matabeleland South died after he was doused with petrol and set on fire by yet to be identified suspects, police have confirmed.
Abednego Ndlovu from Bhidi Village under Chief Bhidi Ndiweni was burnt to death in a disused hut, at an abandoned home a few metres from his home on Thursday night.
Matabeleland South provincial police spokesperson Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele yesterday said the law enforcement agents were treating the case as murder.
“We are investigating a suspected murder incident after a 36-year-old man was allegedly doused with petrol before being set alight on Thursday night.
“The man from Bhidi Village suffered serious burns and was pronounced dead on arrival at Maphisa District Hospital,” said Chief Insp Ndebele.
“Investigating officers who attended the crime found an empty container which is suspected to have had contained petrol. In the same hut there were some logs which were used to put on the fire. And the preliminary investigations suggest that the victim could have been doused with petrol, set on fire and left to die.”
He said Ndlovu’s neighbours alerted cops of the arson attack after they discovered him wailing for help while writhing in pain.
“The neighbours were awakened by his screams which were coming from an abandoned home.
At that home there was a hut which had a collapsed roof where Ndlovu was found still alive but his rescuers failed to comprehend anything he was trying to communicate to them due to the extensive burns he had sustained.
Police and an ambulance were summoned and he was taken to Maphisa District Hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival.
His body is still at Maphisa Hospital mortuary waiting to be taken for post-mortem and murder investigations are underway.”
Chief Insp Ndebele said the murder investigations would help in identifying what could have led to Ndlovu being burnt to death.
He did not reveal who Ndlovu lived with.
“What we are told is that he returned to his home from the local shopping centre at about 7PM. But he briefly stayed at home before leaving and the next thing neighbours heard him screaming for help,” he said.