SDA church murder suspects remanded in custody
By Cynthia Dube
Four armed robbers who allegedly killed a security guard at a Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) church-run primary school in Bulawayo’s Pelandaba suburb appeared in court yesterday.
Tomson Phuthi (40) of Mabuthweni suburb, Ndabezinhle Mpofu (25) of Old Pumula suburb, Ownious Bhebhe of Old Magwegwe suburb and Martin Dlamini (36) of New Magwegwe savagely attacked Burton Sikalonga and Mr Vusumuzi Tshuma who were guarding the school’s premises.
Sikalonga died upon admission to Mpilo Central Hospital last week on Wednesday while his workmate Mr Tshuma sustained injuries.
The four who allegedly had a gun, stole three laptops, five SDA t-shirts and nearly $300 at the SDA School and church which are located in the same premises.
The court heard that the suspects struck Sikalongo with an iron bar on the head and all over his body before stabbing him with a hunter’s knife on Tuesday last week at around 3AM.
Phuthi, Mpofu, Bhebhe, and Dlamini appeared before magistrate Mr Tinashe Tashaya facing a charge of murder. Mr Tashaya did not ask them to plead and remanded them in custody to February 8.
Prosecuting, Mr Nkathazo Dlodlo said on January 17 at around 3AM, the accused persons entered the SDA primary school and SDA church in Pelandaba suburb and tied Tshuma and Sikalongo with a school flag rope.
They then allegedly went to open the school administration block.
“They entered the headmaster’s office and stole $296 and five navy blue SDA t-shirts. They then entered the school clerk’s accounts office and stole two laptops, a Lenovo and a Toshiba. The accused persons proceeded to SDA church and stole an HP laptop,” he said.
Mr Dlodlo said police have managed to recover all the laptops, $40, two t-shirts and a pistol from the accused persons.
“An HP laptop and two navy blue SDA t-shirts were recovered from Phuthi. Another accused person Mpofu caused the recovery of a SDA navy blue t-shirt from a resident.
“A Toshiba laptop and cash amounting to $40 were recovered from Bhebhe. A Lenovo laptop and a pistol were recovered from Dlamini,” he said. The Chronicle