By Bruce Ndlovu
Villagers in Siyaphambili Village in Filabusi, Matabeleland South Province, are living in fear and shock as they struggle to come to terms with the circumstances around the gruesome murder of Stanley Moyo, who was allegedly killed by his live-in girlfriend, with the help of her son and brother.
They went on to chop him into small pieces before burning and dumping the remains in a shallow grave in the nearby mountain. Siphathisiwe Sifiso Dube (49) from Siyaphambili Village, has already appeared before Filabusi regional magistrate Mr Abednico Ndebele and charged with the murder of Moyo along with her son Mqondisi Mkandla (20) and her younger brother Bhekimpilo Nkomo (42). The trio was remanded in custody until 16 September.
After a domestic incident on 16 August, villagers that spoke to Sunday News allege that Dube and her son allegedly assaulted Moyo but kept him hidden in their homestead when they could see he was in a critical condition. He reportedly died several days later after the assault. After his death, Dube and her son allegedly chopped Moyo’s body and concealed the remains in a shallow grave. However, their plans backfired when Nkomo’s dogs allegedly sniffed the burial place and started eating some of the remains leading to the discovery of the incident.
Police were allegedly called in and Dube was forced to dig up the remains which she carried on her head in a sack. It is yet still unclear how Nkomo was later also involved in the murder, as villagers claim that he was the one that raised the alarm to Moyo’s relatives.
When Sunday News visited the village yesterday, most villagers were apprehensive as they spoke of Dube and Moyo’s tumultuous relationship, describing them as a couple that was always at each other’s throats. In an interview, Ward 1 councillor Festas Ndlovu said that he had met Dube before the incident. When they met, Dube told Clr Ndlovu that Moyo had tried to burn her alive inside her hut
“They were a couple that was always fighting. I don’t know the details of what happened but by chance, I met Sifiso during a funeral wake in the village and she told me that Moyo had tried to burn her hut and the one belonging to her son. On the day he tried to do it, however, it was drizzling so his matchsticks did not catch fire. He then tied the door to her hut with shut wire before proceeding to her son’s hut where he did the same.
“During that funeral wake, I told her that she should leave him because the relationship was going to end with her death. I said she could at least seek a peace order from court. I told her she was not tied to him in any way. While I was telling her all this, I did not know that she had already beaten him up alongside her son and left him for dead,” he said.
Clr Ndlovu said this was the fourth and fifth time that Moyo had been assaulted by Dube and her son. According to a villager that spoke to Sunday News anonymously, news of Moyo’s gruesome death was bittersweet, as some were happy that a menacing character would not be a threat to them anymore. Moyo was reportedly a rustler and thief of note, they alleged.
“Most people are shocked at the circumstances of his death but some of us are happy and we actually feel sad for the ones that have been arrested. This was a man that had been troubling us deeply in the village. When Sifiso brought him here after her husband died, many people were complaining because we knew that she had brought a problem to us,” she said.
Dube’s older sister, who only identified herself as MaNkomo, said she had been ill and bedridden for the entirety of the ordeal, but was not surprised at what happened because Moyo used to assault her kin.
“He was a violent man and I am sad things had to turn this way. Of course, this has all shocked us and we did not expect that things would turn this way. No one would have wanted that his life come to and end in this manner. This is something that has shaken our village,” she said.
The village’s headman, Mr Godfrey Ndlovu said the alleged crime had brought great shame to the village.
“We have never had anything of this sort happening. We did not know that a person can be killed and burnt like a dog. We did not know that a person can be tossed away like a donkey. Everyone in this village is in shock over this,” he said. The Sunday News