Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
ESIGODINI gold dealer, Baron Dube, was hospitalised after he was stabbed twice and attacked with a hammer on the head following gold ore dispute at Nugget Gold Mine on Sunday.
Mr Dube retaliated by sending a gang to assault a rival that he claimed led the attack on him and the rival was admitted together with him at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH).
Nugget Gold Mine is the same mine where five gold panners died and four others were injured after a mine shaft collapsed on them on Monday.
Mr Dube, who is not new to gold-related violence, was discharged yesterday.
He is out on bail after he allegedly accidentally shot dead an artisanal miner last year.
In an interview from his hospital bed on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Dube said a gang of about 25 panners led by Mr Ndodana Moyo ambushed him on Sunday between 7:30PM and 8PM.
Mr Moyo could not be reached for comment as he was under police guard at the hospital.
Mr Dube said he had spent the day with the gang that assaulted him and never expected that they would attack him.
“I arrived at a mine which is next to Nugget Mine on Sunday in the afternoon after I was contracted by a guy called Max to provide security at his mine. So I spent the day cordially interacting with other miners. Between 7:30PM and 8PM Ndodana brought a gang of about 25 panners and they said they were taking the ore that we had been digging the whole day,” he said.
“I persuaded them to move away from other miners so that we could discuss the issue. As we moved away, one of them jumped on me and stabbed me twice on my back with a knife. He grabbed my gun and we wrestled for it. We fell into a ditch and the gun went off accidentally.”
Mr Dube said one of the panners approached as if he wanted to assist him.
He said as he relaxed, the panner struck him with a hammer on the head.
“Although about 20 to 25 guys were involved in my case, I think four were actively involved in attacking me. When I was hit with a hammer, I fell and those guys took my gun and its still missing. I thought they would kill me but when I realised that they had left, I walked seven kilometres to the main road, although I was bleeding badly,” he said.
“I managed to call my driver who I was with at the mine and he came and rushed me here.”
Mr Dube said while at UBH he later learnt that Mr Moyo, who he said was leading the gang that assaulted him, had been attacked and brought to the same hospital. He denied masterminding the attack on Moyo.
“These guys provoked many people. I’m not the only one they wanted to rob of gold ore. I understand he was attacked by guys from Silobela and Shurugwi. I was already in the hospital when he was attacked,” he said.
Quizzed on why he is always involved in gold violence, Mr Dube claimed he was a victim.
Matabeleland South police spokesperson Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele said he was yet to receive an official report regarding the matter.