By Tendai Rupapa
A self-styled prophet who allegedly removed a “goblin” and a live tortoise from the boot of CAG bus claiming the said items were going to cause a fatal accident, yesterday told the court that the creatures belonged to the owner of the bus.
But a company director, Ms Afra Nhanhanga, distanced herself from the creatures.
Isaac Nkalankatha (32) from Binga yesterday appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Eric Kadye for the commencement of his trial.
He is facing charges of extorting $20 from the bus crew and contravening the Parks and Wildlife Act, after the complainants reported to the police that he was it was him who had planted the said items on the bus.
Nkalankatha travelled on the bus from Gokwe to Harare.
When they arrived in Harare he told the bus crew of the “goblins”, saying that if it wasn’t for his prayers, an accident would have occurred.
The bus conductor then called Ms Nhanhanga and informed her of Nkalankatha’s revelation and she rushed to the scene.
Nkalankatha is said to have removed a black bag from the boot, which contained a “goblin” that was wrapped in an animal hide and a live tortoise with some beads.
Through his lawyer, Mr Bothwell Ndlovu, Nkalankatha denied the charges when his trial opened.
He denied possessing the bag maintaining that it belonged to the bus owner.
In her evidence, Ms Nhanhanga denied owning the said creatures, saying she had been in the transport business for many years and did not possess a goblin since she was a Christian.
Ms Nhanhanga told the court that the bag belonged to Nkalankatha and accused him of using the “items” to extort money from bus operators after instilling fear in them.
Mr Ndlovu told Ms Nhanhanga that she should thank Nkalankatha for saving the lives of the passengers.
The trial continues today.
It is the State’s case that on February 24, Nkalankatha called Ms Nhanhanga and advised her that there were goblins in her bus, which would cause a fatal accident and needed to be re moved.
He told her that he had been praying for the bus from Gokwe to Mbare.
When the bus arrived at the intersection of Rekayi Tangwena and Bishop Gaul Avenue, Belvedere, Nkalankatha allegedly ordered the bus conductor to open the boot of the bus where they found a black bag and took out the items in the full view of Ms Nhanhanga who had rushed to the scene.
According to the State, the bus crew gave Nkalankata $20 as a token of appreciation and he left the scene with the bag. The crew then became suspicious and alerted the police. The Herald