Ritual murders case postponed

The trial of a three-man gang that allegedly killed four women and a baby for ritual purposes in Stanmore near Gwanda between November and December last year has been indefinitely postponed to allow the State to bring a record book of all exhibits before the court.

By Senior Court Reporter

 
Mncedisi Ndlovu, Nhlanhla Sibanda and Bhekimpilo Mthethwa’s trial had resumed on September 11 with the investigating officer testifying.

 
The trio had pleaded not guilty and said their confession was a result of severe assault and that is why they also refused to confirm their warned and cautioned statements at the magistrate’s court because they did not make the statements voluntarily, but under duress.

 
High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese is presiding over the case.

 
All    the 14 witnesses who had been lined up to testify have given evidence and the State would close its case after going through the issue of exhibits.

 
When the accused were arrested last year they were linked to a Gwanda businessman who was suspected of being  the mastermind of the alleged murders.

 
However, the businessman has since been exonerated by the police.

 
The trio is being held at Khami Remand Prison in Bulawayo.

 
Charges against the three are that between November 18 and December 8 last year, they waylaid their victims as they disembarked from public transport  vehicles at Stanmore bus station and took them to a nearby bush and robbed them of their goods before killing them.

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

 
The three were arrested after allegedly murdering Mthombani on December 8.

 
Whisper Mabhaudhi appeared for the State, while Charles Paul Moyo, Ndabezinhle Mazibuko and Nathan Tawanda Mashayamombe represented  Ndlovu, Sibanda and Mthethwa pro deo.

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