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Age saves ‘murderous’ brothers from jail


Two brothers from Tsholotsho who fatally assaulted their younger brother following a heated dispute over a family estate were on Tuesday spared imprisonment after the High Court took their advanced age into account.

The pair, Frank Ndlovu (74) and Edward Mele (71) who are siblings, were convicted of culpable homicide when they appeared before High Court judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha sitting at the Hwange High Court circuit.

The deceased, Robert Mele, was a renowned artiste who featured as Donga in a local Ndebele drama, Kukhulwa Kokhupela.

Justice Kamocha sentenced each of the brothers to three years in prison of which two years were suspended on condition of good behaviour.

The remaining one year was suspended on condition they completed 240 hours of community service at Tsholotsho Police Station.

Sentencing them to a non-custodial term, Justice Kamocha noted that jailing them would not benefit society in anyway because of their advanced age.

“What will society benefit if we send you to jail at your age? If we send you to prison, it’s like sending you to die because you are in the late afternoon of your lives,” said Kamocha.

Charges against the pair stemmed from February 9 2007 at about 9am, when Frank and Robert met their elder brother Edward at Tsholotsho Business Centre where they started drinking beer.

At about 5pm, the trio left for Edward’s homestead in Makwakweni where on arrival they picked an argument over their deceased mother’s estate.

Frank hit Robert once on the forehead with a fist and he fell down. He then kicked him on the chest and neck.

Edward also joined in and assaulted him on the legs with a hosepipe.

Robert left the homestead, but was found lying unconscious the following day near Tsholosthso Business Centre.

A report was made to the police who picked him up and took him to Tsholotsho District Hospital where he died on admission, leading to the arrest of his brothers.

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