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Drama at High Court as witnesses charge at prosecutor

Mashudu Netsianda

A group of about 10 state witnesses caused a scene at the Bulawayo High Court yesterday when they charged at a prosecutor handling their case and threatened to assault her.

File picture of Bulawayo High Court
File picture of Bulawayo High Court

The angry witnesses were supposed to testify in the trial of Jabulani Ndlovu (34) whose image was allegedly captured on closed circuit television (CCTV) while killing and robbing a security guard at a company in Bulawayo’s Thorngrove industrial area.

The trial, which was supposed to have started yesterday, failed to kick off due to legal technicalities emanating from shoddy investigations by police.

The prosecutor, Mrs Sifiso Sibanda, drew the ire of the witnesses when she tried to explain why the case could not take off.

It appears the angry witnesses were not satisfied with the explanation given by Mrs Sibanda, triggering outbursts.

The witnesses, who are relatives to the slain security guard, Jabulani Madolo, turned emotional and started verbally attacking Mrs Sibanda and shoving her until police came to her rescue.

“I was simply trying to explain to the state witnesses why the trial could not take off and they started hurling a barrage of insults at me, accusing me of deliberately delaying the process. They pushed and shoved me until police came to my rescue,” said the visibly shaken Mrs Sibanda.

The Chronicle witnessed the angry group, comprising mostly women, shouting at the top of their voices as they left the court building.

One of the women was overheard saying: “I am not afraid of being arrested. We are tired of flimsy excuses by these court officials.

“Our brother was killed more than a year ago, but justice is being deliberately delayed, we are tired of this nonsense!”

Another female prosecutor who had accompanied Mrs Sibanda took to her heels soon after the drama had unfolded.

She huddled in a corner where she watched her colleagues being harassed from a distance. Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Maxwell Takuva subsequently removed the matter from the roll.

Mrs Sibanda told The Chronicle that the trial was shelved because of poor investigations by police. She said there was a missing chain of evidence, which rendered the state case useless and weak.

“We couldn’t proceed with the trial because of some legal technicalities. In fact, we realised that there were a lot of gaps and missing evidence hence the matter had to be struck off the roll so that we attend to those outstanding issues,” she said.

According to the State case, on July 2, 2015, at about 6pm, Jabulani Madolo reported for duty at Buchu Trading Meat Wholesalers together with a workmate, Mr Innocent Gwama.

The following morning shortly after 1.30am, Ndlovu allegedly broke into the company premises and found Madolo manning the yard.

He allegedly fatally struck Madolo with a four-pound hammer before robbing him of two cellphones and $200.

Ndlovu was arrested after his image was allegedly captured on the company’s CCTV. Chronicle