A BULAWAYO man was slapped with a community service sentence for killing a man that he spotted trying to break into his neighbour’s house.
Mthokozisi Mkandla (27) of Cowdray Park suburb fatally assaulted Mphithizeli Ncube, 37, also from the same suburb last year in May.
Mkandla told Bulawayo High Court Judge Justice Martin Makonese that it was not his intention to kill Ncube, who died at Mpilo Central Hospital three weeks after the assault.
Through his lawyer, Mr Sikhumbuzo Nyathi from Dube, Banda and Nzarayapenga Law Firm, Mkandla who was facing murder charges, pleaded guilty to culpable homicide.
Passing his judgment, Justice Makonese applauded Mkandla’s dignity of being his brother’s keeper but warned him against taking the law into his hands.
“Mkandla’s instincts compelled him to apprehend the deceased who was about to break into his neighbours house. However, residents must hand over criminals to police and not mete out instant justice like in this case,” said the Justice Makonese.
Justice Makonese sentenced Mkandla to perform 420 hours of community services at Luveve Police Station.
“Mkandla has already learnt his lesson as he spent the past year in remand prison awaiting trial. He is sentenced to three years imprisonment of which two years are suspended on condition of good behaviour,” said Justice Makonese.
“The remaining one year is wholly suspended on condition he performs 420 hours of community service within 12 weeks.”
Prosecuting Mr Whisper Mabaudi told the court that on May 3, 2015, Mkandla came across Ncube who was attempting to break into his neighbour’s house.
“He apprehended Ncube and took him to his house. He used force to subdue Ncube and in the process he sustained some injuries.
“Some residents joined Mkandla and assaulted Ncube, leaving him on the road,” said Mr Mabaudi.
The court heard that passersby, who noticed Ncube groaning and writhing in pain at around 5AM, rushed him to hospital.
“His condition deteriorated in hospital and he died on June 1 last year.” chronicle