By Nqobile Tshili
A gold panner (17) from Cowdray Park suburb was brutally hacked to death with a machete at a night club in Bulawayo.
Bornwell Ndlovu allegedly attacked Talent Sibanda with the machete a few metres from Mahweba Night Club, situated near Cowdray Park Terminus at about 8:30PM on Saturday.
MDC Alliance’s Alderman Collet Ndlovu owns the club and the alleged assailant is his nephew.
A mob allegedly meted out instant justice on Ndlovu before handing him over to the police.
Ald Ndlovu is the MDC Alliance candidate for Ward 28 by-elections set for Saturday.
One of Ndlovu’s employees who declined to be named said the gold panner was a nuisance when he arrived at the night club on Saturday.
“He came to the club already drunk, bought a snooker token and instead of playing the game, he put the balls into a satchel. A scuffle ensued with the security officer who took the balls back. The security guard evicted him from the night club as he was already drunk,” said the worker.
“We are told that another fight started when he was outside the premises and he was hacked to death.”
Talent’s aunt Ms Lydia Phuthi said the family was devastated by the boy’s death.
Ms Phuthi said Talent had arrived on Saturday morning from his panning activities only to be killed hours later.
“We don’t know what really transpired because we were not at scene. But his brother who was with him said he was attacked with a machete. They managed to identify his attacker. His brother and his friends on Saturday evening just told us that Talent had been attacked and an ambulance had taken him to hospital. Initially we did not think his life could have been in danger,” said Ms Phuthi, as she struggled to hold back tears.
“At about 4AM six police officers knocked at our door informing us that we should go to Mpilo Central Hospital as Talent had died while being ferried to the hospital.”
She said they found Talent’s bloodied body at the mortuary showing that he had been savagely attacked.
Ms Phuthi said on Sunday morning they visited the crime scene at the terminus where they found a pool of dry blood showing that he bled extensively. She said they endured the trauma of cleaning up the blood.
Ald Ndlovu, who was conducting campaigns in Cowdray Park’s Esigodweni area, said some people were using the murder for political mileage.
“There are a lot of untruths in this. Some people say he was stabbed in my bar which is not true. Plus Bornwell is my brother’s son. He doesn’t even stay with me. He is an adult responsible for his actions.
“I can’t be responsible for what my relatives do, I’ve others who support Zanu-PF and others who support MDC-T led by Khupe. Their actions should not define my political path. So I don’t think what happened should impact my campaign,” said Ald Ndlovu.
A resident said yesterday a group of gold panners attacked patrons at Ald Ndlovu’s night club and disrupted the aspiring councillor’s campaign team which was set to conduct a road show.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Chief Inspector Precious Simango said Talent’s relatives handed Ndlovu over to police on Sunday afternoon after beating him up.
“Police officers proceeded to the suspect’s place of residence and conducted a search. They recovered a blue jean trousers and a red T-shirt that he was wearing on the day of the killing, which were still bloodstained but had been washed and hung on the washing line. The accused is still in police custody,” said Chief Insp Simango.
She challenged member of the public to avoid using violence to solve differences. The Chronicle