Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Court Reporter
A HIGH Court judge yesterday ordered an inmate at Khami Remand Prison who allegedly strangled a cellmate following a fight over salt to undergo psychiatric examination as he was behaving in a strange manner.
Thulani Ndlovu (27) allegedly strangled a cellmate Vengai Mudzemba (45) last year. Both Ndlovu and Mudzemba were murder suspects and shared a cell in remand prison.
Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Maxwell Takuva ruled that Ndlovu could not stand trial after he started giving incoherent responses and refusing to talk to his lawyer, Ms Vivianah Chikomo.
“The accused person gave illogical and incoherent responses when he was asked questions by the court. He even refused to talk to his lawyer and failed to supply the reasons for doing so.
“In our view, there is a need for him to be mentally examined by two doctors to ascertain his mental condition,” he said.
Justice Takuva said Ndlovu’s conduct was bizarre and ordered him to be taken back to prison pending mental examination.
Prosecuting, Mr Whisper Mabaudhi said on December 21 last year at about 4.30PM, Mudzemba and Ndlovu were locked up in the same cell with Butholezwe Ndawana.
The trio was having supper when Mudzemba requested for salt from Ndawana resulting in an altercation between the two inmates.
“A scuffle ensued between Mudzemba and Ndawana and Ndlovu tried to intervene to stop the fight,” said Mr Mabaudhi.
The court heard that Mudzemba turned on Ndlovu and punched him once on the face. A fight ensued between the two during which Ndlovu grabbed Mudzemba and choked him.
“The accused person grabbed the deceased by the neck and strangled him with bare hands resulting in his death,” said Mr Mabaudhi.
A post mortem was conducted and the cause of death was cited as mechanic asphyxia and strangulation in unknown circumstances.
In his warned and cautioned statement, Ndlovu admitted that he committed the alleged offence. — @mashnets