Danisa Masuku, Chronicle Correspondent
A MAN (24) who is said to have been ditched by his five-months-pregnant girlfriend allegedly savagely axed and stabbed her to death before committing suicide in police holding cells.
Zibusiso Kandiwani, a miner at King Rich Mine in Matopo, frenziedly stabbed Thubelihle Ncube (18) five times with an Okapi knife and axed her as many times on the head and back on Tuesday around 5PM.
Sources said he left the axe stuck in Ncube’s face and finished her off with a brick.
Ncube’s siblings aged 12 and eight years allegedly witnessed the callous killing, which occurred in her father’s bedroom where she had fled when Kandiwani became violent.
“Zibusiso seemed possessed. Afterwards he chased after the 12-year-old with another axe but failed to catch him. The boy was so traumatised he could not attend his sister’s burial on Thursday,” said a source close to the family.
Police arrested Kandiwani on the same day and he allegedly committed suicide in the holding cells at Matopo Police Station on Friday.
“Police found him with a piece of rope when they searched him after his arrest. They confiscated it. On Friday, he tore a blanket into strips and used it to hang himself,” said a police source that declined to be named.
Mr Howard Ncube (45), Thubelihle’s father, yesterday told The Chronicle that his daughter had been in love with Kandiwani for almost two years.
He said Kandiwani was staying with them at his homestead at Gwangwazile village, Matopo, under Chief Masuku and he was also working with him at King Rich Mine.
Mr Ncube said he was not around when his daughter was murdered but a neighbour, Mr Jethro Nkomo (46), witnessed the killing.
The distraught Mr Ncube said his daughter was five months pregnant and described her as a polite and humble person.
“She was my first born child. I had hoped she would look after her siblings after I die but the devil has taken her away from us at a tender age,” said Mr Ncube.
Mr Nkomo narrated how Thubelihle was viciously murdered.
“I was passing by going to get my cattle and saw Zibusiso and Thubelihle having an argument before Zibusiso took out an Okapi. Thuba screamed and hid in her parents’ bedroom. Zibusiso followed her. He stabbed her five times all over the body. She fell down and bled profusely,” said Mr Nkomo.
As if that was not enough Mr Nkomo said Zibusiso picked an axe and continued the brutal attack. “He axed her all over the body and left it stuck in the head. He picked a brick and hit her on the bloodied head. He chased after Thuba’s 12-year-old brother while wielding an axe but he could not catch up with him,” said Mr Nkomo.
He said he followed Kandiwani after he left for King Rich Mine.
“Along the way I heard him telling someone on the phone ‘sengiyibulele inja leya’ (I have killed that dog),” said Mr Nkomo.
Security guards at King Rich Mine, Mr Nkomo said, arrested Kandiwani after he tipped them off and handed him over to Matopo Police Base.
Matabeleland South police spokesperson Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele confirmed the murder-suicide.
“I can confirm that Zibusiso Kandiwani murdered his girlfriend Thubelihle Ncube. Kandiwani committed suicide while in the police cells assisting police with investigations,” said Chief Insp Ndebele.
He urged members of the public to engage third parties like the police, church or community elders and mature family members to assist in amicably resolving disputes, rather than resorting to murder or suicide.