Leonard Ncube Victoria Falls Reporter—
A MAN from Dete allegedly kidnapped his stepdaughter, strangled her with a piece of wire and tied the body under a weir to prevent it from floating to the surface before hanging himself. Lindwa Nawa, 31, allegedly killed Nomathemba Princess Juba, 11, a Grade Six pupil at Dingani Primary School, on Sunday night.
In a bizarre development, family members said he undressed Princess and also stripped naked before abducting the girl as she slept with four other children in a hut.
Herd boys at Dingani Village in Ward 15 under Chief Dingani-Nelukoba in Dete, discovered Nomathemba’s body floating in Dingani Dam on Wednesday. Nawa’s body was found on the same day hanging from an Acacia tree, about 6KM from the dam.
Villagers told The Chronicle Nawa allegedly killed the girl to conceal the fact that he was sexually abusing her and some neighbours had alerted his wife, Xolani Mpofu, about the issue.
But Nawa’s family said the couple fought over $1 on Sunday. His mother, Levi Nawa, 55, said: “They fought on Sunday night over $1 which he was demanding from his wife’s younger sister and he ended up chasing them from home”.
She said Mpofu went to report the matter to the police. “He brought the five children here so they could sleep over. He sneaked into the hut at night and took Princess away. I only discovered that she was missing in the morning when her mother arrived with the police,” Nawa’s mother said.
Villagers dispatched a search team on Monday morning and discovered Princess’s body on Wednesday. Her wrists were tied with a piece of wire while her neck was swollen. Nawa’s mother said her son tore off Princess’ clothes while he also removed his and the two left the homestead naked. She said she found the clothes they were wearing at the homestead on Monday morning.
Headman Dumisani Dingani Mpala, in whose area the incident occurred, said the community was in shock. “I got a report on Sunday at 11PM that Nawa had disappeared with his stepdaughter. A search team was dispatched and it tracked the footprints of the two to the dam. On Wednesday, I got a call that the body of the girl had been found,” said Headman Mpala.
“Villagers retrieved the body with the help of officials from Painted Dog, an organisation that was paying school fees for the girl because she was one of the best pupils at the school and had won a bursary. Nawa’s body was found hanging from a tree in the afternoon.”
A villager said on condition of anonymity: “What we are hearing is that neighbours alerted Mpofu that Nawa was in the habit of sexually abusing the girl and that caused a fight after Mpofu confronted him. The woman could have been the target but he killed the girl so she would not reveal the matter.”
Villagers allege that Nawa and Mpofu had marital problems and he would threaten to kill the girl to spite his wife. They said Nawa’s skin was peeling off and they could not carry his body home for burial so he would be buried under the tree he hanged himself from.
The girl’s body was taken to Victoria Falls District Hospital mortuary where it is awaiting post-mortem before burial at Village 27 in Monde. Mpofu’s family had by Thursday taken her to Monde Village.
Nawa and Mpofu had two children during their 10-year marriage while Mpofu had three from her previous marriage including Princess. Mpofu is alleged to have eloped to marry Nawa while her injiva husband, Christopher Juba, was in South Africa.