HomeNewsMentally ill woman acquitted for fatally axing niece

Mentally ill woman acquitted for fatally axing niece


A 31-YEAR-OLD Mberengwa woman, who fatally axed her two-year-old niece in December 2016, has been acquitted of murder after the High Court considered her unstable mental history.

By Stephen Chadenga

Alerta Masuku of Batanai Village, Chief Bvute, Mberengwa was yesterday referred back to Mlondolozi Prison for further treatment after High Court judge, Justice Nokuthula Moyo ruled that she had a documented history of mental illness.

The judge said Masuku could not be legally held responsible for her actions at the time she killed Praise Masuku.

In her ruling, Justice Moyo relied on a psychiatrist report produced by Elena Poskotchinova at Mlondlozi Mental Hospital, which confirmed Masuku’s mental problems.

It was the State’s case that on December 23, 2016, at around 6am, the deceased’s mother left her daughter at home with the accused and Tanaka Masuku when she went to fetch water from a nearby borehole.

The court heard that the accused picked an axe and struck the toddler once on the left side of the head and she died on the spot.

A report was made to the police leading to the arrest of the accused.

In a related matter, a 46-year-old Mberengwa man, who killed his mother and father in February 2002 and May 2015, respectively, was also acquitted on grounds of insanity.

Munashe Dube of Macala Village, Chief Mketi, Mberengwa stoned Ustina Dube leading to her death.

The court heard that on February 9, 2002, the accused arrived home naked and was dressed by his brother.

Later that day, his mother sent Dube’s wife and sister to fetch some water leaving her (deceased) and the accused alone at home.

The accused then armed himself with stones and struck his mother all over the body and she died from the injuries.

The court further heard that on May 24, 2015 the accused’s father, Peter Dube was in his bedroom hut sleeping. The accused armed himself with an iron bar and struck his father once on the right side of the head and he later succumbed to the injuries.

Justice Moyo ruled that Dube was a danger to society before referring him back to Mlondolozi Prison.

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