Lupane double murder!…Man slaughters elderly parents, siblings on hit list now refugees at police station
Nqobile Tshili, [email protected]
A 35-year-old man from Lupane in Matabeleland North is on the run after killing his elderly parents in cold blood and hunting down his two siblings whom he wanted to also attack, forcing the family to spend three nights at Lupane Police Station fearing for their lives.
Clever Ngwenya first stabbed his mother, Mildress Ngwenya (71), to death then killed his father, Simon Shoemaker Ngwenya (73), witnesses said.
This happened in the presence of elder siblings, Mr Khululani Ngwenya and Ms Fidelis Ngwenya, who had to run for their dear lives as Clever seemed determined to kill them too.
The incident happened last Thursday at about 10AM at the family homestead in Gwalubha Village under Chief Mabhikwa.
Witnesses say Clever stabbed his mother on the neck with a knife and she died on the spot before going for his father, and then for his sister who managed to escape together with his brother.
A Chronicle news crew visited the family yesterday where the visibly shaken Ms Ngwenya narrated the harrowing experience they endured in the hands of their younger brother.
She said she had just arrived home from Lupane Business Centre before Clever followed, and later Khululani.
Ms Ngwenya said their mother served them a meal before Khululani revealed that Clever had an issue he wanted to discuss with the parents.
“Clever then said it wasn’t necessary anymore to discuss the issue. But my mother just insisted saying since he was home it was best that it is discussed,” she said.
“In a split second, he produced a knife and plunged it in my mother’s neck and she fell to the ground. He then went after my father whom he stabbed but before my father died, he shouted at me to run for my dear life.
“In his words my father said ‘don’t look back, he has killed me, just run for your life. He is determined to kill. Seek refuge from our neighbours’,” said Ms Ngwenya.
She said Clever chased after her for more than 100 metres towards the family’s neighbours. Ms Ngwenya said the fear-stricken neighbour could not accommodate her but advised that she proceeds further.
“I ran to another neighbour’s home but this time around, I didn’t ask for help. I ran inside and hid under a bed and I would only respond to them while I was under the bed,” said Ms Ngwenya, who was still visibly shaken
Khululani said he has never seen his younger brother in that state and when he produced a knife, he had no doubt that he would use it to kill.
“He was carrying this big knife called Colombians. It is a deadly weapon. When he produced it, within a minute, he stabbed our mother on the neck. I had no weapons, so I knew it would be futile for me to try and fight him so I ran to ask for help,” said Khululani.
“His face had turned into something that I had never seen.”
He said by the time he came back with help, both his parents had been killed and Clever had escaped. The neighbours started tracing his footsteps and moved for more than 10km but after sometime, they realised that the footsteps were showing that he had made a U-turn.
“We traced his footsteps back to my homestead. He actually ran away and came back and relaxed in my homestead, which is about 1km from our parents’ home,” said Khululani.
“It seems as we were tracing him, he was attentive of us and moved out of the house. One of my nephews then spotted him and we started moving towards him.
“As we moved towards him, he just said ‘I know all your tricks, I’m going to deal with you’. He stopped running away and advanced towards us, still brandishing the blood-stained knife. Most of the guys developed cold feet and started drifting away. I tried to encourage them that we could capture him but no one had the guts.”
After pushing them back for a while, he disappeared but evidently remained within the village, said Khululani, adding that by the time the police arrived after about 10 minutes, Clever could not be located.
Out of fear for their lives considering that Clever was determined to attack, the family sought refuge at Lupane Police Station.
“So, for the past three days, we have been sleeping at the police station. Anyone who was coming for the funeral wake, we would just tell them to meet us there,” said Khululani.
“We feared for our lives. It’s only today that we have gathered enough strength to say we will hold a funeral wake at home.
“Also, the police promised to provide us with security. So, we are still very much concerned that without his arrest no one is safe here.”
One of the siblings Mr John Ngwenya said during the highly-charged pursuits, he questioned Clever what his motive was.
“He only had one answer for me. He said ‘it felt right’,” said John.
The family suspects that Clever could have escaped to Botswana where he has previously lived. John described his brother as a short-tampered person who would hardly speak as he stammered.
In a statement on X (Twitter), police confirmed that they were hunting for the suspect who is now on the run.
“Police in Lupane are appealing for information, which may lead to the arrest of Clever Ngwenya (35) who is being sought for callously killing his parents, Mildress Ngwenya (71) and Simon Ngwenya (73).
“For an unknown reason while attending a family gathering at Gwalubha Village, Mabhikwa on 21/09/23. The suspect stabbed his mother, Mildress Ngwenya with a knife on the throat before stabbing his father, Simon Ngwenya on the throat with the same knife,” read a police statement.
The family has said burial arrangements will be announced in due course as they are waiting for post-mortem results.