Police in Nyamandlovu arrested an alleged serial murderer who raped his victims before killing them using the same method and hiding their corpses which were found in a state of decomposition.
The High Court has ordered that Sydney Ezekiel Ntuta Ncube (44) be examined by two medical doctors to ascertain his mental status before his trial commences.
Ncube allegedly met a woman at a farm in Figtree in April last year and force-marched her into some bush where he raped her before strangling her and hiding her corpse.
A month later, on May 8, Ncube, who had moved to Nyamandlovu, allegedly met a 15-year-old girl at Mutshiya Farm and took her into a bush where he again raped, killed her and hid her corpse.
Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha, sitting at the Hwange High Court Circuit, heard how, like Britain’s Jack the Ripper, Ncube allegedly used a similar modus operandi to murder his victims.
The case was heard at Hwange where Ncube had been indicted for trial last Friday before the matter was struck off the roll to allow for an examination of his mental status.
Ncube will be sent to Mlondolozi Mental Health Institution at Khami Prison Complex in Bulawayo for the examination. He was not formally charged.
State allegations are that on April 15 last year, Ncube met one of his victims, a 38-year-old woman, whose name was not disclosed in court papers, who was on her way to a grinding mill near Ascot Farm in Figtree.
He allegedly force-marched her into the bush and allegedly raped her after tying her hands together. Ncube later allegedly tied her legs and strangled her to death using a head scarf.
After the brutal murder, Ncube allegedly took away her canvas shoes and left the scene.
Unbeknown to him, two villagers — Rivonia Moyo and Phineas Ndlovu — had spotted him walking along the Solusi-Bulawayo Road and became suspicious because he was a stranger in the area.
However, the pair just let him go since they were unaware of the heinous crime he had allegedly just committed.
The woman’s decomposed body was discovered two weeks later by another villager, Stephen Ncube, who made a report at Solusi police post.
The woman’s husband Mateu Moyo positively identified the body.
After Ncube left the area, he allegedly met a 15-year-old girl who had just disembarked from a lift in Nyamandlovu on May 8.
The girl was visiting her grandmother at Content Farm in the district.
Ncube allegedly diverted her to Mutshiya Farm where he raped and killed her using the same method.
Ncube allegedly hid the girl’s body and luggage which included groceries she had brought for her grandmother at the farm.
The girl’s decomposed body was only recovered 20 days later, on May 28 after Ncube, who had been arrested as a suspect, led police to the scene of the murder.
Police in Nyamandlovu immediately informed their counterparts in Plumtree after noticing similarities in the way the murders were carried out.
On June 11 2010, police detectives interrogated Ncube at Tsholotsho Remand Prison and he allegedly admitted to the murder.
He made indications at the scene and also led to the recovery of the woman’s canvas shoes at his homestead at Springfield Farm in Nyamandlovu.
On November 19, Ncube was brought to Bulawayo Central Police Station for an identification parade and was positively fingered by Rivonia Moyo and Ndlovu who had seen him walking along the Solusi-Bulawayo Road soon after allegedly committing the murder.
Whisper Mabhaudi appeared for the State.