TWO stranded border jumpers deported from Botswana allegedly stabbed a motorist who had offered them a lift in Plumtree before they slit his throat and used tyres and diesel to burn his body beyond recognition.
The duo after allegedly killing the deceased, set his body on fire and then drove off in his car, a Mazda Bongo kombi, which was laden with groceries leaving the body in flames. They also allegedly stole the deceased’s cellphone.
This emerged when Mehluli Bhunu (26) of Maronga village Dete in Matabeleland North and Trust Ngwenya (18) of Lusulu in Binga appeared before Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Evangelista Kabasa facing murder charges in connection with the death of Memory Deredza (35).
Bhunu and Ngwenya allegedly met Deredza at Maitengwe Border Post soon after their deportation from Botswana and he offered them a lift to Plumtree.
Deredza was on his way to Masvingo to return his brother-in-law’s car, which he had borrowed when the accused fatally stabbed him and burnt his body after dousing it with diesel.
Bhunu yesterday took to the witness stand and narrated how he ganged up with Ngwenya to commit the gruesome murder.
“We were deported from Botswana and did not have enough money to proceed to Plumtree where my aunt stays hence we decided to hitchhike. The deceased offered us a lift but we did not disclose to him that we only had 50 pula, which we knew was not enough for the trip to Plumtree,” said Bhunu.
“Along the way, Deredza demanded 50 pula from each of us and we indicated to him that we only had 50 pula in our possession, but he insisted that it was not enough.
“I then spoke in Tonga to my co-accused and suggested that we request the deceased to stop on the pretext that we wanted to relieve ourselves yet our intention was to jump out and flee without paying.”
Bhunu said when Deredza stopped the car, Ngwenya jumped out under the guise of intending to relieve himself.
“When I tried to follow Ngwenya, the deceased got suspicious and he blocked me from disembarking and I noticed a knife on the dashboard,” he said.
Bhunu said the deceased grabbed him by the neck and pinned me down as he demanded his full fare at knifepoint.
“I screamed and my co-accused immediately returned, opened the driver’s door and disarmed the deceased before he stabbed him on the abdomen.”
Bhunu continued: “The deceased let go of me and turned on Ngwenya and they wrestled. I managed to seize the knife from my accomplice and stabbed Deredza several times. Ngwenya grabbed the deceased and I finished him off by cutting his throat.”
Bhunu said soon after killing the deceased, he fished out two tyres and a container of diesel from the car. They doused the body with diesel and set it ablaze.
Soon after committing the offence, they got back into the deceased’s car and drove away.
The deceased’s stolen cellphone, which had already been sold to one Ms Sithokozile Maphosa, betrayed the two accused persons after it was recovered, leading to their arrest.
Deredza, who was based at Tutume area in Botswana, came to Zimbabwe in July 2018 and proceeded to Masvingo where he borrowed the kombi from Mr Robson Mutema intending to use it in ferrying his churchmates from Botswana to Gokwe.
Soon after the Gokwe trip, Deredza drove back to Botswana where he stayed for a month.
Mr Mutema, who was expecting his brother-in-law, got suspicious and filed a missing person report.
On September 2, 2018, investigations led the police to a homestead in Bhagani village in Plumtree where the deceased’s vehicle was found.
The homestead belonged to Bhunu’s aunt and her husband who were quizzed about how the vehicle ended up in their home and they implicated the two. They told the police that the two had claimed that the vehicle was broken down and they had crossed to Botswana to buy spare parts before they could collect it and proceed to Binga, their home.