The Sunday News
Fairness Moyana in Hwange
A LUPANE man who tried to kill his mother by striking her with a hoe seriously injuring her following a misunderstanding over a candle has been acquitted after the court ruled that he is mentally challenged.
Forget Sithole (24) of Kamba Village, Lupane appeared before regional magistrate, Mr Collet Ncube facing an attempted murder charge after he struck his 66-year-old mother, Margret Phiri on the neck and head resulting in her sustaining life threatening injuries. Mr Ncube found Sithole not guilty and retained a special verdict after a medical report showed that he was mentally unstable.
“This court is satisfied with the evidence of the medical report certifying accused’s mental state. Accused committed the offence while mentally unstable and therefore cannot be held liable for his actions. In that regard this court will have to retain a special verdict as guided by Section 29 of the Mental Health Act to the effect that accused is found not guilty. It is hereby ordered that accused be referred to Mlondolozi for treatment,” he said.
According to a psychiatric evaluation report, Sithole is a known psychiatric patient who suffers from schizophrenia and was not sober at the time of the crime. The report said the accused had defaulted in taking medication which might have led to his violent behaviour.
According to a statement of agreed facts, on 2 May 2018 at about 9pm, Phiri was asleep in her bedroom hut when her son came in and asked for an axe. She told him that the axe was in the kitchen and he proceeded there where he took a hoe before returning to his mother’s bedroom. After finding the door locked he forcibly opened it and gained entry.
While inside the house he ordered his mother to find a candle so that the room could be illuminated. However, when no action was taken Sithole got angry, grabbed Phiri by the neck before pulling her outside where he struck her once on the neck and head with the hoe without saying out the reason he was assaulting her. Phiri sustained a cut on the neck and head and became unconscious. She was ferried to St Luke’s Hospital where she was admitted before being transferred to Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo for further treatment. Mrs Charlene Gorerino appeared for the State while Mr Daniel Ncube of Legal Aid Directorate represented Sithole.