A Gweru man allegedly doused his wife with paraffin and set her on fire, resulting in her death while the couple’s seven-year-old son watched. Eddy Mpofu was allegedly angry after his wife, Bongani Nyathi, received a message on her phone. The boy testified that he saw his father dousing his mother with paraffin before setting her alight, but Mpofu maintained that his wife committed suicide.
Gweru magistrate Mr Musaiwona Shotgame, sitting as a coroner, heard that Nyathi died after Mpofu attacked her in August last year.
The couple’s seven-year-old son told Mr Shortgame that Mpofu found him and his mother at the shops.
“At the time he entered into the shop, my mother received a text message and my father demanded to be given the phone,” said the boy. “My mother gave him the phone and he started asking her who had sent her the text message.
“My father gave back the phone to my mother and he proceeded to a bar. When he came home later that evening, my father refused to eat, locked the door and started beating up my mother, demanding to know who had sent her the text message.
“He pushed her against the wall, took a bottle that contained paraffin and poured it on her before he lit a match. My mother, who was now on fire, screamed for help. That is when my father took a blanket that was on the bed and covered her.
“He called for a car which rushed my burnt mother to the clinic.”
Mpofu said he had a domestic dispute with his wife that led to a fight.
“My wife then went on to pour paraffin all over her body and lit herself up with a match,” he said.
“I then put out the fire by covering her body with a blanket and took her to the hospital.”
The inquest continues on March 20