Disaster as man axes neighbour to death following dispute over a tree

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A 61-YEAR-OLD man from Kezi in Matobo district appeared in court for allegedly axing his neighbour to death when he confronted him for chopping a tree near his homestead.

Phillion Ndiweni (63) of Mashumba village fatally axed Mr Julius Ndlovu (64) following a dispute over a tree which the accused person was cutting for firewood.

Ndiweni appeared yesterday before Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nokuthula Moyo facing a murder charge in connection with the death of Mr Ndlovu.

He was remanded in custody to today for judgment.

Prosecuting, Ms Nokuthaba Ngwenya said on February 12, 2017 at around 12PM, Ndiweni’s neighbour, Ms Monica Ndebele, hired the accused person to fetch firewood for her.

“On that particular day at about 2.30PM, Ndiweni went to an area near Mr Ndlovu’s field and started cutting down a tree. The deceased spotted the accused person who was on top of the tree cutting branches and he became incensed and confronted him,” she said.

The court heard that an altercation ensued between the two men during which Ndiweni allegedly struck the deceased with an axe on the left side of the ribs and head and he collapsed and died on the spot.

Soon after committing the alleged offence, Ndiweni fled from the scene. Some villagers who heard the noise rushed to the scene and found the deceased lying in a pool of blood. They reported the matter to members of the neighbourhood watch committee who managed to apprehend Ndiweni leading to his arrest.

According to the postmortem report, the cause of death was brain damage, skull fracture, chop wound and assault.

In his defence through his lawyer Ms Taboka Nyathi of Makiya and Partners, Ndiweni said he acted out of provocation.

“It was not my intention to kill the deceased. The deceased is the one who initiated the attack by striking me with a knobkerrie and an axe. I then retaliated by striking back and unfortunately he died as a result of the attack,” he said.

— Chronicle


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