A Gwanda man has appeared in court while his two accomplices are still at large after they beat up a man resulting in his death for allegedly stealing their friend’s rafters. Sizanani Ndlovu (32) of Mzimuni area was convicted on his own plea of guilty to culpable homicide by Gwanda regional magistrate, Mr Mark Dzira last week.

He was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment of which six were suspended on condition he does not within the next five years commit a similar offence.

The remaining 24 months were suspended on condition he performs 840 hours of community service at Mzimuni Clinic.

In his mitigation, Ndlovu told the court that it was not his intention to cause the death of Thokozani Nyathi.

He begged the court to be lenient on him as he was widowed and has a child to look after. Prosecuting, Mr Mncedisi Dube said Ndlovu and his accomplices committed the offence on 19 October in 2009.

“On 19 October 2009 around 4pm, Ndlovu and his accomplices Asakheni Ndlovu and Bhekuzulu Bhebhe who are still at large met the now deceased, Thokozani Nyathi at Stanmore Business Centre and started accusing him of having stolen some rafters, a wallet and a T-shirt from their friend.

“A misunderstanding arose over the matter as Nyathi was denying the allegations. Asakheni and Bhebhe then punched Nyathi several times all over the body and as a result he fell to the ground and his head hit a concrete floor,” he said.

Mr Dube said a villager assisted Nyathi to get back on his feet and accompanied him home. He said along the way Ndlovu followed them and slapped Nyathi on the face who then fell to the ground and his head hit a rock.

Mr Dube said Nyathi lost consciousness as a result of the attack and started bleeding from the head, mouth and ears.

“Nyathi later gained consciousness after receiving some first aid and proceeded to his homestead where he spent the night. His condition worsened and on the following morning Nyathi was ferried to Stanmore Clinic and was later referred to United Bulawayo Hospitals where he died around 11 pm.

“A post mortem revealed that Nyathi had died due to extensive haemorrhage and head injuries he sustained as a result of the assault,” he said.

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