Andile Tshuma, Chronicle Reporter
A 22-YEAR-OLD man has been sentenced to six years in prison for fatally stabbing a fellow party goer following a fight.
Richard Mpofu of Robert Sinyoka Village pleaded not guilty to a murder charge and guilty to culpable homicide when he appeared before Justice Martin Makonese at the Bulawayo High Court.
The charge was altered to culpable homicide after the court found that Mpofu had been involved in a fight with the deceased, Denis Nobert Ncube, of Pumula North suburb who was 22-years-old at the time of his death.
In his ruling, Justice Makonese decried the high levels of crime and violence among youths which he said had cost young lives in the country. He called for behaviour change among young people to ensure a generation of sober headed and non-violent individuals.
“Accused person is found guilty of culpable homicide and is sentenced to six years imprisonment. Two years will be suspended on condition that accused person does not commit a similar offence for five years,” said Justice Makonese.
Prosecuting, Ms Sifiso Sibanda said sometime in November 2018, Mpofu stabbed Denis Nobert Ncube on his neck, leading to his death after they were involved in a brawl at a party.
“On November 16, 2018 at a road in Pumula North Suburb, Bulawayo, the accused person stabbed Dennis Nobert Ncube once on the left side of the neck intending to kill him or realising that there is a risk or possibility that his conduct may cause the death of the deceased,” said the prosecutor.
A post-mortem report done by a pathologist at United Bulawayo Hospitals, which was read in court, concluded that the cause of death was hypovolemic shock, carotid artery injury and stab wound.
In his defence, Mpofu’s legal representative Mr Maqhawe Mpofu appealed to the court to charge him with culpable homicide saying his client stabbed Ncube after he was continuously provoked.
“Accused person pleads not guilty to a charge of murder and will testify that on the day in question, he was at a party and was assaulted by the now deceased person and his gang who teamed up against him while he was trying to restrain the crowd from fighting. Accused person then ran away from the now deceased person and his colleagues and he was followed by one Darren who told him that the now deceased and his gang were still conspiring against him and were intending to further assault him. Darren then gave the accused person a knife to defend himself in case of further attack. Accused person then went behind the house where he met the now deceased person who first insulted him by saying (unprintable words) and then attempted to punch the accused person,” said Mr Mpofu.
“As a result of persistent and incessant provocation by the now deceased person and in the heat of the moment, accused person lost self-control and stabbed the now deceased person once on the neck. In light of the foregoing, the accused pleads that this honourable court finds him not guilty of murder but finds him guilty of culpable homicide.” — @andile_tshuma