A man who fatally axed a suspected prostitute in Bulawayo’s Montrose suburb before burying her body in a shallow grave has been sentenced to an effective 30 years in jail.
Charles Ndlovu (38) of Insuza struck Ms Nqobile Tshuma (36) of Makokoba suburb twice on the back of the head with an axe after the two had an altercation over an undisclosed issue.
The woman died on the spot and Ndlovu buried the body at a house in Montrose suburb where he was a caretaker.
Dogs dug up the body and started feasting on it and a report was made to the police. Ndlovu and Ms Tshuma met at a pub in Makokoba and agreed to spend the night together.
Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Maxwell Takuva, yesterday convicted Ndlovu of murder with actual intent. He condemned Ndlovu’s conduct, describing his actions as deplorable.
In passing sentence, Justice Takuva said the courts have a duty to protect the sanctity of human life through passing deterrent sentences.
“No one is allowed to take away someone’s God-given life and therefore this trend must be nipped in the bud through imposing stiff penalties on perpetrators.
“In aggravation, soon after committing the offence, the accused person buried the body in a shallow grave at the back of the house to conceal the crime.
“We note that the accused person’s conduct resulted in unnecessary loss of life and as such he deserves to a long custodial sentence as punishment for his callous actions,” he said.
Prosecuting, Mr Trust Muduma said on December 25, 2017, Ndlovu went to MaDlodlo Beer Garden in Makokoba and hired the services of Ms Tshuma who was a cigarette vendor and a lady of the night.
The two went to a house in Montrose where they intended to spend the night together.
Ndlovu, a part time caretaker, had been left in charge of Mr Mthelisi Sebele’s house.
The court heard that in the middle of the night, Ndlovu and Ms Tshuma had a misunderstanding over an undisclosed issue.
Ndlovu allegedly picked an axe and struck Ms Tshuma twice on the back of her head and she fell to the floor and died. He then buried the body in a shallow grave at the back of the yard.
“Soon after committing the offence, Ndlovu buried the body in a shallow grave in the backyard of the house,” said Mr Muduma.
The crime came to light when dogs dug up the body and started feasting on it. A report was made to the police leading to Ndlovu’s arrest.
According to post mortem results, Ms Tshuma’s death was due to head injury, depressed skull fracture and assault.
In his defence through his lawyer, Mr Prince Butshe-Dube of Mathonsi Ncube Law Chambers, Ndlovu said on that particular day he was not in control of his mental faculties after having smoked dagga which resulted in hallucinations.
He said he struck the deceased by mistake after allegedly mistaking her for two strangers he claimed had rushed to his room upon spotting him.
Ndlovu said he only discovered that he had killed Ms Tshuma on the following morning.
“Out of panic, I decided to bury her in a shallow grave before I fled from the scene,” said Ndlovu. – state media