A PLUMTREE man is suspected to have been murdered and his body thrown in the path of a haulage truck in Marula on Friday.

The deceased has been identified as Nkosilathi Mafu (30) of HA 87 NRZ in Plumtree.

Matabeleland South acting police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Joram Sithole, yesterday confirmed that police were investigating the death.

“I confirm that we are investigating a fatal case in which a Plumtree man was hit by a haulage truck at the 66-kilometre peg along the Plumtree-Bulawayo Highway.

“The driver of the vehicle when approaching the peg discovered two pedestrians, one who was standing on the middle of the road and the other one lying on the tarmac. As he approached the pedestrians, the one standing jumped off to the left of the road and vehicle crushed the one who was lying down and dragged him for about 20 metres,” said Asst Insp Sithole.

He said the accident occurred around 6PM.

“The truck, which belonged to Masiane Lovemore Kalibe of Nketa 6 in Bulawayo, was being driven by Paul Sithole (41) of Queens Park East.

“He was travelling from Plumtree to Bulawayo. The pedestrian sustained a fractured left leg, bruises on the face and a deep cut on the head.

“His body was taken to Plumtree District Hospital mortuary. The driver was charged with culpable homicide for contravening Section 49 of the Criminal Codification and Reform Act,” he said.

However, a source close to the family who spoke on condition of anonymity said Mafu’s relatives were suspecting foul play.

“How could one explain Nkosilathi’s lying on the centre of the tarmac with someone guarding him? The person ran away when a haulage truck arrived? We are suspecting that he could have been killed by the person and then thrown onto the tarmac to fake a road accident. We are also hearing reports that the person who was with Nkosilathi when he met his death was also involved in a similar incident before.

“The family is left with more questions than answers. We’re imploring the police to do further investigations,” he said.

Mafu was buried yesterday in Plumtree. state media