BY SILAS NKALA
A RANGER from Hwange Rural District Council (HRDC) Community Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (Campfire), who allegedly accidentally killed a 62-year-old Jambezi woman as he tried to put down a troublesome elephant, was on Friday granted $100 bail by a Victoria Falls magistrate.
Thubelihle Ncube (28) of Hwange is accused of killing Irene Munsaka of Chenamisa village, who died on the spot when a stray bullet hit her on the head as the ranger attempted to kill an elephant that had been destroying crops in the village.
Ncube, represented by Thulani Nkala, was not asked to plead to the murder charge when he appeared before Victoria Falls magistrate Lindiwe Maphosa.
In her ruling she said: “The applicant (Ncube) must deposit the sum of $100 with the clerk of court Victoria Falls, the applicant must reside at Swazi Ncube homestead, village head Ndlovu, Chidobe village 4, Chief Mvuthu, Hwange until finalisation of the matter. That applicant is ordered not to interfere with State witnesses in this case, and that the applicant reports once a week, every Friday between 7am and 7pm, at Jambezi Police Station.”
The matter was remanded to April 17 for routine remand pending its extradition to the High Court for trial.
The court was told that on the evening of April 1, Munsaka was at her homestead along the Hwange-Victoria Falls Road when HRDC Campfire rangers visited the area between Jambezi Centre and Chikandakubi to drive away problem animals that had been terrorising villagers.
Ncube saw an elephant but fired towards it but missed. The stray bullet hit Munsaka leading to her death. Villagers alerted Campfire officers and a report was made to the police, leading to Ncube’s arrest.