In a murder case in which a Mr Nthoi, an Assistant Communication Officer of Orapa/Letlhakane Debswana Mines, was hacked to death along the Orapa Francistown road, one of the accused men, Romeo Ndlovu, dismissed the charges of murder but admitted stealing items from the vehicle of the deceased.
Ndlovu revealed this before Francistown High Court Judge Zibani Makhwade on Wednesday, saying that he never took part in the murder of Nthoi, but helped himself to the items that he found in the parked vehicle.
Ndlovu and his partners in crime, Fanuel Mpofu, Butholizwe Ndlovu and Assure Ndlovu, all Zimbabwean nationals, are all facing charges of murdering Nthoi on the 16th of February 2006.
He testified before the court that on that fateful day, he left his place of employment where he was employed as a herdsman together with his friend Jabulani Ndlovu and found a parked vehicle along the road with its doors ajar. Upon discovering the vehicle, they thought the owners of the vehicle could have gone into the bushes to relieve themselves and so stole two cellphones and some cassettes that were in the vehicle.
Ndlovu pointed out that after taking the items, he suggested that they leave the scene as quickly as possible to avoid being seen or caught. They then proceeded with the journey back home and split the items on the way. He gave his accomplice his share of the items and he went home where he showed his brother, Fanuel Ndlovu, the items before selling them to one Sibanda who worked for a Chinese Construction Company in Mukwibilo Village.
Ndlovu and his brother left for Mukwibilo the following day and, on the way, they met a Police vehicle and quickly threw away the items and were stopped and searched by the officers who demanded their travelling documents. He said they were then arrested because they did not have the documents and were taken back to the scene of the crime where they found many officers.
“We were taken to a nearby bush where we were shown some blood, and questioned as to whether we had killed a person,” said Ndlovu.
He told court that they were asked about the vehicle and admitted to having seen the vehicle, stolen the items in the vehicle but denied ever killing any one. After leading police to the spot where they had hidden the loot, they were asked to tell the police the names of the rest of the group.
They were all taken to TatiTown Police Station where they were remanded in custody.
The case continues.