A MAN from Mangwe district in Plumtree, who allegedly killed his parents in cold blood and set their bodies on fire inside a hut, on Wednesday appeared at the Plumtree Magistrates’ Court charged with murder.
Lisani Nleya (45) was not asked to plead to the charge when he appeared before Plumtree magistrate Vivian Ndlovu for initial remand.
The court appearance took place after he went with the police to his parents’ homestead for indications on Tuesday where he remorselessly told them that his parents deserved to die. He killed his parents in Empandeni, Mangwe district, in Matabeleland South province on September 1, 2020.
He was remanded in custody to February 17 for routine remand pending the transfer of the matter to the High Court.
Willbrought Muleya prosecuted.
Nleya was arrested in Bulawayo at a prophet’s house after he sneaked into the country from South Africa. During interrogation, he allegedly confessed to killing his parents. He did not attend their funeral.
Nleya reportedly told them that his parents, Nicholas Nleya (83), who had partially lost his sight, and his wife Margaret (78), who walked with the aid of a stick, had bewitched him and, therefore, deserved to die.
He also told the police that he killed them while alone.
Allegations are that while he attacked his parents, their workers fled when they heard the mother begging for his mercy.
Their bodies were burnt beyond recognition and remnants of petrol bombs and dynamite were found in the room where their charred remains were discovered.
The Nleyas were both retired teachers who taught at the nearby Roman Catholic-run Empandeni Primary School, and were devout Christians.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi on Monday said the suspect, who was based in South Africa, sneaked into the country and was arrested after a tip-off.
“The suspect came from South Africa and following a tip-off that he was at a certain prophet’s house to collect his belongings, police pounced on him and arrested him. He confessed to having killed his parents,” Nyathi said.
A villager said Nleya had deserted the army and was different from his siblings “who had made it in life”.
It is alleged that on a number of occasions, he threatened his parents with unspecified action, accusing them of bewitching him. After murdering his parents, it is alleged that Nleya set the hut on fire to destroy evidence.
He reportedly told the police that when he entered his parents’ bedroom hut, he demanded money and was given R200 by his mother, which he said was too little.
Forensic evidence and a post-mortem indicate that they may have been axed or stabbed to death before being set on fire. Nleya then cycled for about 90km to Figtree before getting a lift to Bulawayo.
He took his parents’ cellphones, and sold one of them in South Africa. The other phone is said to be at his rented place in South Africa.