By Temba Dube
BULAWAYO – A 41-YEAR-OLD inyanga from Bulawayo’s Magwegwe North suburb allegedly beat his wife to death in a fit of jealous rage, accusing her of sleeping with her younger brother.
The inyanga, identified by family members as Mr Mnxwanelwa Hadebe, allegedly used an electric cord to beat his wife, Simenyiwe Sibanda (30). He later broke a kitchen unit door and used it to hit her all over the body before smashing her head against the wall, killing her.
Mr Hadebe allegedly killed his wife while their two daughters aged three and nine watched. His younger brother, Mr Mthandazo Ngwenya (33), yesterday said the fatal assault took place on Monday at around 5pm.
It is suspected that Mr Hadebe stayed with the body for at least four hours, before making a false report to the police, claiming his wife had collapsed after having fits. Neighbours said Mr Hadebe had approached one of them at about 5pm on the fateful day seeking assistance to take his wife to hospital.
“They rushed her to Luveve Clinic but it was closed, so they went back home. I think the woman was already dead. She did not look alive to me when they carried her back into the house,” said one of the neighbours.
Mr Ngwenya said: “I arrived home at about 10pm and I met my brother at the gate. He said his wife had collapsed and asked me to accompany him to the police station to make a report. We rushed to Magwegwe Police Station where we made a report. However, when we got home the police dismissed the story and arrested him.”
A police source said Mr Hadebe was arrested because the house looked as if it had been hit by a storm.
“There was broken glass and everything was upside down. Generally, it looked like a cyclone had passed through. The woman had bled from the nose and it was swollen. We arrested him and he later changed his story, saying he had seen her holding hands intimately with her younger brother,” said the source.
Mr Ngwenya’s wife, Ms Nkosinothando Hlabangana, who was in the house at the time of the assault, said Sibanda’s younger brother, Sipho Sibanda, had visited the couple earlier in the day.
“After he left, Hadebe went to his wife and demanded a cellphone that he had bought for her some time ago. She gave him the cellphone. He called her again and started assaulting her. He had locked the doors so I went and hid in my room,” said Ms Hlabangana.
Another police source said Mr Hadebe said he was angry because he suspected that his wife was having an affair with her brother. Mr Ngwenya said Mr Hadebe was actually the one who had invited his wife’s brother to visit them.
“He is the one who called him here, so I do not understand how all the fighting came about. As a family we are all shocked. My brother was not that kind of person. This is totally unexpected. He took care of me from when I was a little boy,” said Mr Ngwenya.
He said the family was waiting for Ms Sibanda’s parents who are coming from South Africa, to make burial arrangements. Contacted for comment, the police spokesperson for Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, Inspector Mandlenkosi Moyo, confirmed the incident.
“We are investigating a case of suspected murder that happened in Magwegwe on Monday. The accused has since been arrested and is assisting police with their investigations,” said Insp Moyo.
He urged members of the public to avoid violence.
“Violence never solves anything. If people have differences, they can seek specialised help from the police press and public relations department, the Victim Friendly Unit (VFU), churches or elders in society,” said Insp Moyo.