Bulawayo 'killer' vendor escapes jail

Bulawayo 'killer' vendor escapes jail
Published: 11 September 2019 (64 Views)
A BULAWAYO fruit and vegetable vendor who fatally struck his colleague with a broomstick during a fight over two cabbages worth $2, escaped custodial sentence after he was ordered to perform 840 hours of community service.

James Ncube (33) of Njube suburb was convicted of a lesser charge of culpable homicide by Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Maxwell Takuva.

Ncube, who was initially facing a murder charge in connection with death of Ronnie Ndlovu (30), was sentenced to three years of which one year was suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour.

The remaining two years were further suspended on condition that Ncube completes 24 weeks of community service at Njube Police Station starting Monday next week.

Ndlovu, who was popularly known as Wire, was selling cabbages for Ncube at the Bulawayo Market along 5th Avenue and Jason Moyo Street, when he failed to account for $2 from the sales resulting in the fight.

In passing the sentence, Justice Takuva condemned Ncube's conduct, saying the courts have a duty to protect the sanctity of human life.

"On the aggravating features, we note that a life was needlessly lost over a dispute involving a mere $2. The courts encourage people to resolve disputes in an amicable manner and this is what happens in a civilised world. Culpable homicide arising from the use of violence is a serious offence and the courts have a duty to uphold the sanctity of human life and there is need to deter the accused person and those like-minded," he said.

Justice Takuva said Ncube's moral blameworthiness is low after noting that the deceased was the aggressor.

"We note that the deceased was the aggressor when he refused to give the accused person his money for the cabbages he had sold. The deceased's conduct reduces his moral blameworthiness, particularly considering that the accused person showed remorse and even rendered first aid soon after the attack," he said.

The judge said Ncube also assisted the deceased's family with money for the coffin and transport to ferry the body to the deceased's rural home.

Prosecuting, Mr Trust Muduma said on June 29, 2017 at around 8.30AM at Ncube's market stall, Ndlovu sold two of the cabbages belonging to the accused person in his absence and realised $2.

The court heard that upon Ncube's arrival, Ndlovu refused to give the accused his money and demanded a commission for selling the commodity. Mr Muduma said an altercation ensued between the two men after which Ncube went back to his stall and started cleaning the place.

"The deceased confronted the accused person and started to assault him. An altercation ensued between the two men during which Ncube picked a broomstick and struck the deceased once on the head and he fell headlong and hit the ground resulting in his death," said Mr Muduma.

According to the post mortem, the cause of death depressed skull fracture, assault and subarachnoid haemorrhage. A report was made to the police leading to Ncube's arrest. Mr Arkisayi James Dhliwayo of T Hara and Partners represented Ncube.


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