BY Matabeleland North Correspondent
AN 81-year-old Lupane man who was facing charges of attempted murder, after he allegedly struck his neighbour twice with an axe, heaved a sigh of relief after a Hwange Magistrate acquitted him.
The octogenarian, Nkosembi Khumalo of Zamani Village in Dandanda area, was however convicted of assault by Hwange regional Magistrate Collet Ncube.
Khumalo accused his neighbour Tinashe Ncube (38) of stealing his ram and struck him twice on the head with an axe in October last year after an altercation.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge, arguing he acted in self defence after Ncube punched him for inquiring about his ram.
The magistrate fined Khumalo RTGS$300 or six months in jail if he failed to pay by June 20 this year.
Prosecutors allege that Ncube fell unconscious after being struck by Khumalo.
“On the 20th day of October 2018 at about 6pm, the accused proceeded to Tinashe Ncube’s homestead carrying an axe.
“Upon arrival, he started accusing the complainant of stealing his sheep and requested to search his bedroom hut,” said Memory Munsaka, the prosecutor.
The court heard that a misunderstanding ensued after Khumalo could not find his ram in the hut. Ncube was not happy that he had been accused of stealing the livestock.
Khumalo allegedly drew an axe and struck Ncube after the latter shouted at him, it is alleged.
The complainant’s mother Besty Moyo restrained the two but her son had already collapsed.
A report was made to the police, leading to Khumalo’s arrest, while Ncube was rushed to St Luke’s Hospital for treatment.
Through his lawyer Thulani Nkala, Khumalo, said as an elderly person, he felt he could not outrun a youthful Ncube.