In a heartbreaking romantic-tragic story, a Bulawayo man murdered his girlfriend five days before their lobola celebrations.
Obvious Velani Sibanda assaulted his girlfriend Hillary Nothabo Ncube (26) and struck her with a metal bar amid infidelity accusations.
Ncube was reportedly five months pregnant and the two are co-workers at a local popular fast-food outlet in the city.
Before committing the crime, Sibanda allegedly opened to full blast the volume of his radio and television in what Ncube’s grandfather Mr John Ndlovu believes was a calculated move to stifle her niece’s screams for help from neighbours.
A distraught Mr Ndlovu told ‘Chronicle’ that he received a call just before 9 pm from his niece’s mother in Cowdray Park, notifying him of the sad incident.
“Her mother said she had been phoned by Luveve police and asked to report to the station as her daughter had been injured but could not tell her from what.
“She asked me to come and pick her up so that we could go together but moments later, she said her intuition was telling her that something terrible might have happened to her daughter and the police didn’t want to tell her over the phone so I should instead go alone,” said Mr Ndlovu during an interview at his house in Entumbane.
He said when he got to the police station, he found Sibanda on the other side of the counter at the charge office.
“The boy could not look me straight in the eye, I knew then that something terrible had happened. The police then informed me and some details were assigned to accompany us to the scene of the murder in Emakhandeni where my niece’s body was and the place was full of blood. She had a huge cut at the back of her head,” said Mr Ndlovu.
He said the family was still puzzled as to why his niece died in such a violent way, especially when the two looked happy together and were busy with lobola negotiation preparations, which were to take place at his house on Saturday.
“Just yesterday (Monday) I visited them at their place of work in town, they even bought me some chips and a drink as we discussed preparations for the ceremony,” said Mr Ndlovu.
“They said they would be off on Wednesday (today) and would therefore come home for final preparations. What then led to this shocking incident, only God knows. Her father who is in South Africa was also coming for the ceremony but now has just left South Africa to attend his daughter’s funeral.”
According to the police, the two knocked off from work at around 5pm and decided to pass through Sibanda’s place of residence.
“Upon arrival at around 1800 hours, the accused person allegedly asked the now deceased about the contact number of a frequent caller in her cell phone called Gift,” Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Abednico Ncube, said.
“The now deceased told the accused person that Gift was her boyfriend and was responsible for the pregnancy, the accused claims. He further alleges that this did not go well with him and he took a metal bar, which was behind the door, struck the now deceased once on the head and she fell and became unconscious,” said Insp Ncube.
He said the accused person continued striking his girlfriend several times using that same rod until she died on the spot and upon realizing that she was no longer showing any signs of life, the accused person called his parents and advised them about what had transpired.
Insp Ncube said at around 8.30 pm, the accused person proceeded to the police and handed himself over. The body of the now deceased was taken to United Bulawayo Hospitals where it was certified dead and placed in the mortuary for post-mortem.
Insp Ncube urged members of the public to solve their problems amicably rather than to use violence as this results in unnecessary loss of lives.
“Such a young life has been lost, an incident which could have been avoided if both parties had sought assistance in solving their issue,” he said.
“As a way of curbing gender-based violence we encourage members of the public to use dialogue than violence and seek advice from third parties such as Emthonjeni Women Forum, Musasa, Contact and church members or trusted elderly persons as well as the police,” said Insp Ncube. Mourners are gathered at House Number 151, Cowdray Park.