Stabbed for smoking…Farm worker battles for life after knife attack

Adelaide Moyo Chronicle Reporter
AN Inyathi farm worker has been hospitalised after he was stabbed in the chest with a knife by a workmate for allegedly continuing to smoke a cigarette in a shared kitchen. Mpikelelo Dube, 33, a general worker at Mary Ellen farm was angered when his workmate Willard Tshabalala lit a cigarette indoors on Saturday at around 8PM, triggering an altercation.

Dube had argued that he did not want to inhale cigarette smoke as it could cause health complications and reacted violently after his protestations were in vain.

He stabbed Tshabalala, leaving him unconscious and escaped from the scene. Dube appeared before magistrate Sheunesu Matova charged with assault. He pleaded guilty and was remanded in custody to October 5. The state opposed bail as his victim is still admitted to hospital and his condition is not yet known.

Prosecuting, Lungisani Dube said on Saturday at around 8PM, Tshabalala was smoking a cigarette inside a kitchen shared by farm workers at his workplace.

“The accused advised him to go and smoke his cigarette outside because inhaling the smoke wasn’t good for him. Upon refusal, the accused was annoyed and he grabbed Tshabalala’s finger and bit him once,” said the prosecutor. Dube allegedly took an okapi knife from his pocket and stabbed Tshabalala once in the chest, the court heard.

“Realising that he was unconscious, Dube ran away,” the prosecutor added. His victim was rushed to hospital by fellow workers and a report was made to the police leading to Dube’s arrest.

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