Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Court Reporter
A MAN connived with his wife and their maid to kill his 97-year-old mother after a South African sangoma said the elderly woman was bewitching him.
The wife and the maid were each sentenced to an effective 14 years in jail.
Nicholas Dube (37) of Dumani Village in Bulilima district is on remand and being charged separately.
Bathobile Moyo (37) and her maid, Nomalanga Moyo (23) killed Sibuko Ndebele by strangling her using a belt before they tried to conceal the offence by raising a false alarm that she had committed suicide in her bedroom.
Bathobile told the court that she committed the murder after a South African sangoma told her husband that the old woman was bewitching him.
Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nicholas Mathonsi convicted Bathobile and Nomalanga of murder with actual intent.
Dube allegedly called his wife from Johannesburg where he used to work and instructed her to kill his mother who lived with them at their homestead.
Acting on her husband’s orders, Bathobile, a mother of four, engaged her domestic worker, Nomalanga and promised her a beast in return for helping her to kill her mother-in-law.
The two women strangled Ndebele using a belt while she was asleep.
Nomalanga and Bathobile killed the elderly woman on May 18, 2015 and reported to the police that she had committed suicide.
A postmortem however, revealed that she had been strangled.
After being questioned by the police, Bathobile implicated her domestic worker and also revealed that her husband masterminded the evil deed.
Dube was arrested while at his homestead in Bulilima when he returned home for his mother’s burial.
Prosecuting, Mr Whisper Mabaudhi said Dube called his wife and told her that his mother was the reason behind their misfortunes.
“Dube told his wife that he had visited a witch doctor in South Africa who informed him that the misfortunes that he and his family were experiencing were being caused by the old woman as she was bewitching him,” said Mr Mabaudhi.
He also told his wife that his mother was the reason why his motor vehicle had been mysteriously stolen in South Africa.
Mr Mabaudhi said on May 18, 2015 Bathobile and her maid waited until the old woman had gone to sleep in her bedroom hut.
Bathobile and Nomalanga found the old woman asleep in her bedroom hut. Nomalanga grabbed both her hands in order to stop her from moving while Bathobile used the black belt which she had brought with her to strangle her mother-in-law to death.
Bathobile then raised a false alarm and told their neighbours that her mother-in-law had committed suicide in her bedroom hut.
A report was made to the police for further investigations.
The body was taken for postmortem and a pathologist ascertained that Ndebele had died due to strangulation, asphyxia and restriction of the neck vessel, leading to the arrest of the trio.