IN a gruesome murder, a Bulawayo man indiscriminately assaulted his live-in girlfriend to death in Cowdray Park suburb before he fled the scene, leaving the woman’s seven-month-old baby screaming next to its mother’s lifeless body.
The suspect, identified as Dingani Sibanda (31) was arrested on Saturday, a day after committing the grisly murder. He was nabbed while waiting at a hiking spot near Mac’s Garage to board a lift to South Africa.
The victim was identified as Simelinkosi Sibanda who was aged 27 at the time of her death.
According to a video posted by Mr Ezra “Tshisa” Sibanda on his Facebook page, the suspect’s father, Mr Phineas Sibanda said his son and the deceased were cohabiting.
“They (Dingani and Simelinkosi) were just cohabiting and on that particular night, I had just arrived home from work when I was greeted by some noise and screaming emanating from the kitchen, which the two used as a bedroom,” he said in the video.
“I overheard my son questioning Simelinkosi why she was peering over the fence dividing our house and the neighbour’s. Perhaps he thought she was interested in our neighbour’s son.”
Mr Sibanda said when he knocked on the door, Dingani refused to open.
“He refused to open and I told him that I was going to report him to the police hoping he would open the door, but my plea fell on deaf ears,” he said
Mr Sibanda said he then decided to report the matter to the police.
“When I returned I heard the child crying and I tried to open the door, but it was still locked. I decided to use the bathroom window, which has no burglar bars, to gain entry into the house,” he said.
Upon entering the house, Mr Sibanda discovered Simelinkosi’s body was lying on the floor in a pool of blood while her baby screamed uncontrollably and his son was nowhere to be seen.
“I phoned one of my friends asking if he had police contacts so that I could contact them, but unfortunately he didn’t have them. Since it was late at night and raining, I could not risk walking to the police station hence I waited for daybreak,” he said.
Mr Sibanda said at the crack of dawn he awoke and alerted a neighbour, who in turn informed their residents’ association, before reporting the matter to the police.
“The police are to blame in this case, they were reluctant to attend to this matter and now a life has been lost. I even told the officers that attended to the scene in the morning about this and they didn’t say anything,” he said.
Mr Sibanda said his son had domestic issues with his girlfriend which were worsened by drug and alcohol abuse.
“This is not the first time Dingani has been violent towards the deceased. I have witnessed a lot of incidents, and in some cases intervened despite my son lashing out at me and even threatening me,” he said.
When a Chronicle news crew arrived at the family home yesterday, Mr Sibanda had already left for Lupane to look for Simelinkosi’s relatives.
National spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident, saying Sibanda was apprehended at Mac’s Garage, which is situated at the corner of Leopold Takawira Avenue and Josiah Tongogara Street.
“We arrested Dingani Sibanda aged 31 on Saturday in connection with the murder of Simelinkosi Sibanda who was aged 27. The suspect allegedly attacked the victim using an unknown object all over the body over an undisclosed issue,” he said.
“The suspect’s father made a police report after the incident occurred. The victim left behind a seven-month-old baby boy.”
Asst Comm Nyathi said Dingani is facing a murder charge and is expected to appear in court soon.