Tuesday, 6 September 2016


THE late Nkulumane legislator, Thamsanqa Mahlangu’s widow, Brenda Zaranyika, yesterday said her family was used to a lavish lifestyle before her husband’s death, and the $7 000 they are accused of stealing from his estate “was too little to meet the funeral and family demands”.

Zaranyika and Mahlangu’s uncle, Joachim Mugova are accused of stealing $7 000 from the late legislator’s bank account shortly after his death.

The two, represented by Dumisani Dube, denied the theft charge when they appeared before Bulawayo magistrate, Gladmore Mushove yesterday.

In her defence, Zaranyika said soon after receiving a call from hospital that Mahlangu had passed on, she immediately told Mugova to withdraw $2 000 from her husband’s account to buy fuel and airtime.

“Joachim told me that the car had only fuel to take the child to school. I instructed him to withdraw $2 000 for fuel and airtime to call relatives,” she said, adding Mahlangu had authorised her to withdraw money from his account, as he was bedridden for over six months.

Zaranyika said Mahlangu had three cars and Mugova was his driver and each month they would use more than $2 000 in fuel costs.

She said the other $5 000 they withdrew was used during the 10-day funeral wake. “I even realised the money was too little, because there were a lot of people at the funeral,” she said.

Mahlangu’s widow said she had kept receipts of the funeral expenses, but the bag with the documents was forcibly taken away from her by Mahlangu’s step brother, Garikai Mugova.

Mahlangu’s aunt, Pretty Maphosa, the executor of his estate, dragged Zaranyika and Mugova to court over the alleged theft after she obtained a bank statement in order to register the estate.

Mahlangu succumbed to cancer on October 5 2015 in Bulawayo and his funeral was marred by chaos, as three families, the Mugovas, the Mahlangus and his biological father’s side, the Sangos, fought over his remains.

The matter was remanded to September 26 for judgment.


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