BULAWAYO, Saturday, October 5, 1991 Manzamnyama Khumalo from Nkayi communal lands was yesterday jailed for an effective eight years by a High Court judge in Bulawayo after he was found guilty of fatally stabbing a fellow villager during a fight over a jersey last May.
Khumalo (30) pleaded not guilty to murder but tendered a plea of guilty to culpable homicide, saying that he did not intend to kill Funnyboy Tshuma. He was, however, convicted of murder with constructive intent by Mr Justice Blackie, who ruled that taking into account the weapon used, the force used to deliver the blow and the part of the body which was stabbed, Khumalo must have appreciated that his action could cause death. The judge said time and again the courts had warned people against using knives to assault others and added that because of the prevalence of such cases the courts had no choice but to pass deterrent sentences against the culprit.
Earlier on the defence counsel, Mr Promise Ncube had submitted that his client’s powers of judgment had been over clouded by the provocation his client had been subjected to by Cde Tshuma and therefore he did not have any subjective foresight of the consequences of his action. The court heard that on May 18, this year, Khumalo left Bulawayo for Nkayi to visit his fiancée. When he alighted from the bus stop at Manomano, he forgot his jersey in the bus.
Since Ndebele custom dictates that a prospective son-in-law visiting his future in-laws must either put on a jacket or a jersey, Khumalo borrowed a jersey from Bongani Mkoko. As the two were walking past Tshuma’s homestead, they were approached by Cde Tshuma, Cde Mkoko’s relative who demanded to know where his jersey was.
When he was told that Khumalo was wearing the jersey, Cde Thsuma insulted the former and punched him on the neck.