By Mashudu Netsianda
BULAWAYO – Three masked men broke into Buchu Meat Wholesalers in Bulawayo’s Thorngrove industrial area and fatally struck a security guard with a four- pound hammer on the head before robbing him of $300.
Workmates and family members of the slain security guard said the incident occurred on Saturday shortly after 1AM.
The victim identified as Jabulani Madolo, 48, of Mpopoma suburb was manning the premises when he was attacked by three men who concealed their faces under woollen monkey caps.
Two of the suspects have since been arrested after their images were captured on the company’s closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV).
Jabulani’s father, Nicholas Nkala, who is also employed at the same company, said he was devastated following the brutal murder of his son.
“I last saw my son on Friday shortly after 4PM when he was about to report for night duty. I was completely shocked when my boss phoned me at around 1AM notifying me of the death of my son and I quickly drove to the factory,” he said.
Nkala said on arrival at the scene, he found his son lying dead in a pool of blood and his body was covered with a blanket.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I discovered that it was my son who had been killed by the robbers,” said Nkala as he struggled to hold back tears.
He said he later watched the gruesome murder of his son on the CCTV.
“My son was killed in a gruesome manner. In the video footage I could see Jabulani wrestling with the suspects before one of them struck him with an iron rod in the head. The other robber then joined in and struck him with a four pound hammer. He then collapsed and died.
“The robbers are seen searching in his pockets and taking away cash amounting to $300 which was part of his pay since he had been paid the previous day,” said Nkala.
Soon after committing the crime, the suspects went to a nearby stream where they fetched some water and tried to render first aid by pouring it onto Madolo’s body.
Nkala said his son’s body was taken to the United Bulawayo Hospitals mortuary for post-mortem.
He said his son will be buried tomorrow at West Park cemetery.
Madolo’s workmate who declined to be named said the suspects first broke into the storeroom where they took the hammers and iron bars which they used to attack Madolo.
The suspects hid behind a refrigerated container and waylaid him before pouncing on him.
“It looks like Madolo heard some voices and became suspicious and that’s when he tried to investigate. It was then that the suspects who were hiding behind a refrigerator attacked him,” said the workmate.
A Chronicle news crew yesterday witnessed detectives from CID Homicide section with one of the suspects making indications at the scene of the crime. A large crowd tailed the suspect with some taking photos of the suspect as he made indications.
Some people who were at the scene claimed that they knew the suspect. They told The Chronicle that they had positively identified him with some linking him to a notorious gang terrorising residents of Thorngrove and surrounding suburbs.
“This suspect is a known criminal who is of no fixed abode but in most cases is usually spotted with a group of youths who live at Burombo Hostels. They are a notorious gang that robs people in Thorngrove and other surrounding areas,” said a vendor only identified as Margaret.
Bulawayo provincial spokesperson Inspector Mandlenkosi Moyo said he received the murder report.
He, however, referred further questions to the Criminal Investigations Derpartment which is now handling the matter.
The city has of late recorded an upsurge in murder cases. Last month a Makokoba man died on the spot after he was stabbed by six men who accused him of blocking their path.
Lawrence Mbama, 37, who worked at a flea-market in the city, was attacked shortly after 7PM near the corner of Basch Street and 6th Avenue as he walked home with two friends. The Chronicle