HomeLocal NewsRitual murder trial nears end

Ritual murder trial nears end

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The trial of a three-man gang charged over the suspected ritual murder of four women and a baby in Stanmore near Gwanda is now set to be completed when the High Court opens for its second term on May 7.

By Friday last week, 13 of 15 witnesses lined up by the State had given evidence.

The two police detectives who investigated the matter are expected to testify in May before the State closes its case.

Mncedisi Ndlovu, Nhlanhla Sibanda and Bhekimpilo Mthethwa denied five murder counts when they appeared before Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese.

When they were arrested last year they were linked to a Gwanda businessman, who was alleged to be the mastermind of the operation.

However, the businessman has since been acquitted of the charge.

The three are being held at Khami Remand Prison in Bulawayo.

Charges against the three are that between November 18 and December 8 last year they allegedly waylaid their victims while alighting from buses at Stanmore bus station, robbed them of their goods before killing them.

They allegedly killed Senzokuhle Moyo (44), Melgina Mahlangu (62), Mthombani Moyo (81) and Nothando Dziba (20) as well as her seven-month-old baby, whose name was not given in court.

On December 8, villagers conducted a search party for their missing relatives and recovered the decomposing bodies at the site and investigations led to the arrest of the three.

Most of the bodies were found with missing parts, raising suspicion of ritual murder.

Whisper Mabhaudhi prosecuted, while Charles Paul Moyo, Ndabezinhle Mazibuko and Nathan Tawanda Mashayamombe represented Ndlovu, Sibanda and Mthethwa on a pro deo basis.

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