THREE villagers from Fort Rixon in Insiza district who were part of a gang that fatally attacked their neighbour using sticks, knobkerries and axe handles after allegedly catching him having sex with their female dog, have been released on $500 bail each.
The incident occurred at Battlefield village in October and the accused persons were arrested two days after allegedly committing the crime.
Mduduzi Ncube (36), Gerald Lunga (30), Nhlanhla Ncube (25) and a 15-year-old juvenile allegedly beat up Sifelani Nkomo to death for bestiality.
They allegedly undressed Nkomo and ordered him to repeat the act in their presence before indiscriminately attacking him all over the body. They then tied him together with the dog and continued attacking him
Mduduzi, Nhlanhla and Lunga were in custody at Khami Remand Prison while the juvenile was remanded out of custody.
Mduduzi, Nhlanhla and Lunga, through their lawyers Dube and Associates, had filed an application for bail pending trial at the Bulawayo High Court, citing the State as a respondent.
Justice Evangelista Kabasa granted the trio bail and ordered each of them to reside at their given addresses and not interfere with State witnesses until the matter is finalised.
In their bail statement, the three applicants are denying the charge, arguing that it was not their intention to kill the deceased.
They stated that on that particular day, they were drunk and that their actions were driven by anger after witnessing strange behaviour by the deceased.
“The applicants were infuriated and provoked by Nkomo’s uncultured behaviour of having sex with a dog and as such they lost their marbles and instinctively sought to discipline the deceased resulting in the unfortunate outcome,” said the lawyers.
The three men said they only used switches to assault the deceased and denied using axe handles and knobkerries. They said the deceased was attacked by a mob which included other villagers.
They dismissed the assertion by investigators that if released on bail, they would abscond or interfere with State witnesses.
“The three applicants handed themselves over to the police when they realised that the deceased had died. It is misleading for the investigating officer to state that they were forced to go to the police station. They have been cooperative throughout the process, an indication that they are not harbouring any thoughts of evading justice,” said their lawyers.
The applicants further undertook to abide by any bail conditions that may be deemed necessary. They offered to pay $500 bail each and to report once every fortnight at CID Homicide section at Bulawayo Central Police Station.
The State did not oppose the application.
According to court papers, on October 18 this year at about 8AM, Mthokozisi Moyo and Kelvin Moyo went to Mduduzi’s homestead intending to return an axe, which they had borrowed.
On arrival they discovered that there was no one at the homestead. Mthokozisi then decided to peep through the window of a bedroom hut and allegedly spotted Nkomo having sex with Mduduzi’s dog.
They went to a nearby tuck-shop and informed one Mandla Tshuma to come and witness the spectacle. Tshuma arrived at the scene with Nhlanhla and one Nothani who is still at large.
They confronted Nkomo who continuously pleaded with them not to alert the owner of the dog.
They notified Mduduzi who was attending a funeral at a nearby homestead and he came in the company of the 15-year-old juvenile. They undressed the deceased and ordered him to repeat the act before attacking him with axe handles, knobkerries and switches in full view of other villagers.
After attacking Nkomo, they tied him together with the dog and force-marched him to a bushy area under the pretext that they were taking him to the police station. Along the way, they axed the dog to death and continued attacking Nkomo until he was unconscious.
They left him lying in the bush where he later died. A passerby stumbled upon the body and reported the matter to the police. Investigations were conducted leading to the arrest of the four accused persons.