Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Court Reporter
ONE of two ex-convicts who allegedly robbed a 65-year-old man of his clothes and a cellphone before killing him and dumping his naked body in a bushy area, ditched his lawyer at the commencement of their trial over language barrier.
Vusumuzi Ndebele (33) of Fourwinds suburb dumped his lawyer, Mr Tatenda Razemba of Nyawo Ruzive legal Practice, on Wednesday saying there was a communication barrier by virtue of him being Shona speaking.
“My Lord, I no longer want to be represented by my lawyer because he is Shona and I am Ndebele making it difficult for us to communicate. I need a lawyer who is conversant in my language,” said Ndebele.
Soon after the commencement of the trial before Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Thompson Mabhikwa, Mr Razemba recused himself prompting the judge to remove the matter from the roll.
Ndebele is being jointly accused with Perfect Sibanda (33) of Siphambaniso Flats. They allegedly robbed and killed Joseph Godfrey Mataviri in June last year before dumping his naked body near the National Railways of Zimbabwe premises in Mpopoma suburb.
The two ex-convicts, who were released from prison under Presidential amnesty, were supposed to stand trial for murder before Ndebele ditched his lawyer, accusing him of twisting facts in his defence outline.
Mr Razemba told the court that there was mistrust between himself and Ndebele who accused him of drafting a defence outline which conflicted with his position.
According to the defence outline, it is stated that Ndebele and his accomplice followed the deceased with the intention to rob him. They then apprehended him and a fight ensued. In the process, the deceased bit him on the thigh before he struck him with a stone so that he could let go.
Ndebele is alleged to have stated that he did not intend to kill the deceased, arguing that he was intoxicated. He is pleading guilty to a lesser charge of culpable homicide.
The prosecutor, Mr Kudakwashe Jaravaza, said on June 5 last year at about 8AM, Mataviri left his home and proceeded to his garden at Steeldale industries in Bulawayo.
He did not return home and was last seen wearing a pair of blue jean trousers, a brown T-shirt, black safety shoes and a black and white jacket.
He had a Samsung cellphone with him.
The court heard that the following morning at around 6AM, Mataviri’s son left their home to look for his father at his garden.
“While on his way to the garden, the deceased’s son’s attention was drawn to a group of people, among them police officers, standing near the NRZ Mpopoma Station.
“When he got closer, he discovered that the crowd had gathered around the body of his father which was lying naked,” said Mr Jaravaza.
The deceased had injuries on the head and according to the postmortem results, the cause of death was extensive subarachnoid haemorrhage, blunt force trauma and head assault.
Sibanda was arrested after someone bought property belonging to the deceased from him and he implicated Ndebele. — @mashnets.