Neighbour killer gets 8-year sentence

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Thandeka Moyo, Court Reporter
A MAN from Bulawayo who fatally struck his neighbour with an axe on the head five times was yesterday sentenced to eight years in prison after the High Court found him guilty of culpable homicide.

Antony Ndlovu (34), who resides along Old Khami Road in the RMS Transport Residential Quarters just after the National Railways of Zimbabwe, brutally attacked Tapiwanashe Mutakaya (39) on April 8 this year.

Ndlovu was facing a murder charge but Bulawayo High Court Judge Justice Nicholas Mathonsi convicted him of a lesser crime.

“Accused is therefore sentenced to eight years imprisonment of which two years is suspended for five years on condition that within that period he does not commit a similar crime,” said Justice Mathonsi.

In his defence after pleading not guilty, Ndlovu said he attacked Mutakaya in self-defence.

“He used profane language to insult me and went on to follow me to my house. I tried to restrain myself but he even went to the extent of threatening the safety of my wife and children,” said Ndlovu.

His lawyer Mr Maqhawe Ndlovu from Samp Mlaudzi and Partners said his client was forced to resort to violence due to provocation.

Ms Nokuthaba Ngwenya for the State said on April 8 around 8PM, Ndlovu and the now deceased who used to work for RMS were at Skittle Inn in Bulawayo drinking beer.

“When Ndlovu went home with his brother-in-law, they left Mutakanya behind. He then followed them and insulted Ndlovu for leaving him behind,” said Ms Ngwenya.

“Along the way, the two had a misunderstanding over an undisclosed issue. The misunderstanding degenerated into a fist fight and they were restrained by RMS security guards.”

The court heard that the men parted ways and went to their respective homes.

“The accused person left the deceased with the security guards at RMS headquarters and went to his house. Mutakanya later followed the accused person to his house where upon arrival, he violently knocked at his door ordering him to come out,” said Ms Ngwenya.

She said Ndlovu came out of his house armed with an axe and struck Mutakaya several times in the head killing him on the spot.

The court heard that Ndlovu was arrested at the scene and the axe that he used was recovered. — @thamamoe

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