AN Inyathi man who bludgeoned his neighbour’s head with a log until she died after accusing her of bewitching him has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for murder.
Mehluli Tshuma (49) of Stand 14 Village 1, Manjova in Inyathi was found guilty of murder with actual intent when he appeared before Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese who was on circuit in Hwange recently.
Tshuma had consulted a tsikamutanda who told him that the deceased Moddy Ndebele had bewitched him. The deceased was 73 years old when she met her death.
The judge said Tshuma deserved a long time in jail as he had taken away a life unnecessarily.
Prosecuting Mr Bheki Tshabalala said Tshuma and Ndebele were neighbours.
He said the murder took place in September 2019 when Tshuma struck Ndebele several times with a log on the head causing her death.
“On the 25th of September 2019 and around 11am, the accused met the deceased who was passing by along a footpath. The accused picked a log and bashed the deceased several times on the head until she died on the spot,” said Mr Tshabalala.
He said Tshuma had consulted a tsikamutanda from Gokwe who had told him that Ndebele had bewitched him.
The court was told that soon after the attack, Tshuma handed himself over to the police.
Tshuma’s wife Ms Singacho Ndlovu told the court that she and her husband invited a tsikamutanda to cleanse their homestead and days later her husband claimed he had seen the now deceased moving around their garden just after midnight and was convinced she was the one bewitching him.
Ms Ndlovu said she and her husband were about to leave their homestead to go to report a case of witchcraft to police when he (Tshuma) spotted the deceased pushing a wheelbarrow on her way to fetch water and ran towards her.
She said she watched helplessly as her husband assaulted the deceased until she died.
After that Tshuma came back to where his wife was and told her that he had killed the deceased and the two boarded a kombi to Inyathi where he surrendered himself to police.