Angeline Mpofu Chronicle Reporter
A WOMAN collapsed inside a court building after seeing her husband in handcuffs – but her family insisted no ambulance should be called for her. Rose Mpofu’s family went on to perform traditional rituals to bring her back to life – attracting dozens of onlookers while doing so at the West Commonage Magistrates’ Courts in Bulawayo.Mpofu, of Mpopoma suburb, had just seen her husband, Mandlenkosi Mpofu, being led into the prosecutor’s office in handcuffs along with four other men charged over the stabbing and wounding of a soldier when she suddenly hit the deck.
A prison officer rushed forward to render first aid, but the woman’s brother, identified only as Ronney, held him back.
“Ulogogo phela lusisi, siyacela lingangeneli ngoba amadlozi engacaphuka (She’s possessed with our grandmother’s spirit, please don’t interfere because you will upset the spirits),” he warned.
As the crowd grew, Ronney told concerned onlookers: “Please leave her alone because this is very sensitive. She’s my sister and I know what we’re supposed to do when she goes into a trance. Please don’t call an ambulance because you will complicate things.”
Someone from the throng, which included court officials, police officers and prison wardens, shouted: “She appears dead, someone call an ambulance.”
But Ronney turned a deaf ear to the plea and began to chant into Mpofu’s ear. A few minutes later, Mpofu regained consciousness and struggled to walk to a nearby bench.
Business returned to normal and the suspects – Mandlenkosi Mpofu, Loyd Mpofu, Tonderai Musiyazviripo, Mthandazo Bhayila and Misheck Moyo – appeared before magistrate Maphios Moyo charged with assault.
The five men were arrested in Mpopoma on Saturday for stabbing and bashing Mpumelelo Chipapata, 25, a soldier who lives in the same neighbourhood. The five allegedly ganged up to attack Chipapata, accusing him of fondling Mpofu’s wife.
Prosecuting,Kingston Mukanganwe said on February 22 at Mathonisa Beer Garden in Mpopoma, the soldier was dancing to music on a stage when he staggered and held onto a nearby woman for balance.
The woman happened to be Mpofu’s wife. Mukanganwe said: “Mandlenkosi accused Chipapata of fondling his wife. He drew an Okapi knife and stabbed Chipapata three times, on the left thigh, on the lower left arm and on the left side of the rib cage.”
The other four men joined the assault, say prosecutors.