By Mashudu Netsianda
A drunken Bulawayo tout who threw a brick in a bar and fatally struck a barlady on the head after missing his intended victim, has been sentenced to 25 years in jail.
Themba Ndlovu (40) of Mahatshula North suburb who fatally struck Belinda Mguni, was convicted of murder with constructive intent by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Maxwell Takuva.
Ndlovu, who was a rowdy patron at Sompisi Bar in Mahatshula, was fighting with a security guard when he picked up a brick and tried to hit him.
He missed his target and struck Mguni on the head and she died four days later at Mpilo Central Hospital.
In his judgment, Justice Takuva described Ndlovu as a cunning and shrewd man who tried to play the tribal card by claiming that all the state witnesses hated him because he was Ndebele.
“The accused person was not a credible witness. He tried to use the tribal card to trick this court into buying his story. In our view, this is totally untrue and we find him to be a crafty and cunning person whose evidence should be dismissed.
“Accused person threw the brick in a crowded bar and missed his intended victim and there is no reasonable probability that his defence is true. He acted recklessly and we are convinced that the state managed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. Accused acted with requisite intent and we find him guilty of murder with constructive intent,” ruled Justice Takuva.
In passing the sentence, the judge said Ndlovu was a social misfit who deserved to be removed from society for a lengthy period.
“In aggravation, you were a nuisance on the night in question. You did not even exhibit any remorse after killing an innocent young woman, but instead you remained aggressive and forceful. You are a social misfit who should be removed from civilised people for a long time,” said Justice Takuva.
He expressed concern over the prevalence of murder cases committed during beer drinks.
“Murders committed during beer drinking sprees are prevalent. A precious and innocent life was lost when the deceased who had done nothing wrong was caught in cross fire. The court must register revulsion at such conduct and those who drink and commit such brutal murders deserve deterrent sentences,” said Justice Takuva.
Prosecuting, Mr Thompson Hove said on March 29 this year, Ndlovu was drinking beer at Sompisi Bar where the deceased was employed as a barlady.
The court heard that after having one too man, Ndlovu became violent started behaving in a disorderly manner.
Taurai Rwizi, a security guard manning the bar premises ordered Ndlovu to leave but he refused and became rowdy.
“Rwizi chucked the accused out of the bar and left him outside. Ndlovu then picked a brick and followed the security guard and found him standing near a braai stand,” said Mr Hove.
Ndlovu threw the brick targeting Rwizi, but he missed him and hit Mguni at the back of the head and she fell down.
Ndlovu was apprehended by other patrons and handed over to the police.
Mguni was taken to Mpilo Central Hospital where she died on April 4. Chronicle