The Sunday News
Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Gwanda Correspondent
SIX miners, among them a woman, have been arrested for allegedly attacking three police officers and damaging a vehicle they were using in protest to the arrest of their workmate.
Tawanda Msimanga (27), Diana Shoko (37), Muzi Moyo (33), Mehleli Dube (28), Thamsanqa Ndlovu (31) and Lloyd Sithole (28) all from Gwanda were not asked to plead when they appeared before Gwanda magistrate Miss Lerato Nyathi facing a public violence charge. They were remanded in custody to 7 August for trial.
Prosecuting, Miss Faith Mutukwa said the gang blocked the vehicle which the police were using and one of them forcibly took handcuff keys from a police officer and released their workmate who had been arrested in connection with an assault case.
“On 14 June at around 2pm the accused persons were at Geelong Mine where they work when one of them Tawanda Msimanga proposed love to Ms Ntokozo Moyo and she turned him down. Msimanga went on to assault Ms Moyo several times and also threatened to kill her. Ms
Moyo then reported the matter to the police who came to attend the scene.
“Constables Mehluli Ncube, Emmanuel Moyo and Ebeny Bhonda proceeded to attend the scene in a vehicle which belongs to a civilian who offered to assist them with transport.
“The cops then apprehended Msimanga and when they were about to leave the rest of the accused persons started shouting at the police officers and ordered them to release Msimanga,” she said.
Miss Mutukwa said the accused persons then blocked the vehicle in order to prevent it from leaving. She said in the process one of the accused persons smashed the rear window of the vehicle and punched Constable Mehluli Moyo who was seated with the accused.
Miss Mutukwa said one of the accused persons forcibly took handcuff keys from Constable Moyo’s shirt and released Msimanga. He went on to smash the windscreen of the car using the pair of handcuffs which had been used on Msimanga.
“Seeing that they couldn’t contain the accused persons the police fled from the scene and hid in the bush and called for backup. A reinforcement team comprising Support Unit members from the West Nicholson Police Station attended the scene and the accused persons were arrested at Colleen Bawn tollgate while travelling in a vehicle they had hired,” she said.
Miss Mutukwa said the value of damaged property is US$387.
Meanwhile, two men have been arrested while their three accomplices are still at large after they ganged up on a man and beat him to death after accusing him of stealing gold ore.
Mpho Moyo (36) and Qhubekani Ndlovu (40) both from Colleen Bawn and their accomplices assaulted Morgan Sibanda before they drowned him in a saline pond while they had tied his hands and legs with a wire.
Moyo and Ndlovu were not asked to plead when they appeared before Gwanda magistrate, Miss Lerato Nyathi facing a murder charge. They were remanded in custody to 7 August.
Prosecuting, Mr Noel Mandebvu said the gang attacked Sibanda on 23 July.
“On 23 July at around 9pm at Sally 22 Mine in Collen Bawn Moyo and Ndlovu together with three other people who are still at large confronted Morgan Sibanda.
“They assaulted him with a hammer mill, fan belts, horse pipe and also punched and kicked him several times.
“They then tied his hands together to the back with a wire and also tied his feet together with a wire. They then drowned him in a saline pond.
“Upon realising that he had passed out the gang dumped Sibanda’s body in a makeshift plastic tent at the mine and fled. Sibanda’s body was later found by some mine workers who reported the matter to the police resulting in the arrest of the accused persons,” he said.