Sukulwenkosi Dube Plumtree Correspondent
A 68-YEAR-OLD Bulilima businessman severely assaulted his wife of 35 years after accusing her of stealing R2 000 from one of his shops.
Moffat Ncube of Mangarane area appeared before Plumtree magistrate, Mr Livard Philemon, facing physical abuse charges.He was sentenced to perform 305 hours of community service at Ntoli Primary School.
Ncube told the court that he suspected that his 55-year-old wife, Silvia, could have stolen the money and shared it with her boyfriends.
He denied injuring the complainant and said that she sustained injuries when she fell while running.
“I suspected that she was the one who stole the money but when my shopkeeper explained that he caused the shortage I later understood. However, the manner in which my wife was talking to me during the altercation made me angry,” said Ncube.
He said the complainant accused him of infecting her with an STI. Ncube said his wife also started demanding back money which she had contributed towards the business.
He said he then slapped his wife twice on the face “in order to instil some discipline”.
The complainant, however, told the court that her husband punched her several times all over the body and kicked her on her ribs while she was lying down.
She also said Ncube was the one who uttered harsh words.
She said her husband told her to leave the house with the money and go and spend it together with the men who were encouraging her to steal from him.
“I told him that I was not seeing any man and besides how could I do such a thing given my health condition. He would not listen and he started beating me up and I was just defenceless. I tried to apologise but he kept kicking me until he broke my ribs,” said Silvia.
She said she did not get the opportunity to flee but remained on the floor where she was sitting before the beating started.
Prosecuting, Mr Clemence Shawarira said Ncube beat his wife on 28 December and refused to take her to the hospital after she sustained broken ribs.
“Ncube arrived from Nyabane area where he stays with another wife. He told the complainant to hand over shop books so that he could carry out a stock take,” said Mr Shawarira.
He said Ncube discovered a shortfall and accused the complainant of taking R2 000.
He punched the complainant several times and further kicked her on her right ribs while she was lying down.
Mr Shawarira said the complainant begged her husband to take her to hospital but he refused. The complainant later found her way to the hospital five days later.
Ncube was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment of which three months were suspended for five years on condition that he does not within the period commit an offence of the same nature.
The remaining six months were suspended on condition that he performs 305 hours of community service at Ntoli Primary School.