A BULAWAYO man allegedly killed his friend by plunging an Okapi knife into his chest for gulping down alcohol while others were taking sips
Lwazi Great Mtetwa (22) of Nkulumane suburb allegedly committed the cold blooded murder in August last year following a dispute with Thabo Michael Thebe who was aged 23.
The two were part of a group that was sharing a bottle of whisky.
Mtetwa appeared before Bulawayo High Court Judge Justice Maxwell Takuva facing a murder charge.
He is due for sentence today.
In his defence, through his lawyer, Liberty Mcijo of Mcijo and Dube Legal Practitioners, Mtetwa said he acted in self defence and was intoxicated at the time of committing the crime.
“We were coming from a place called Emadwaleni when a misunderstanding arose between the deceased and Anele Mpofu over the number of sips of whisky that Thebe had taken. I tried to restrain them but they both turned against me and attacked me.
“The deceased stabbed me on the finger with a broken beer bottle while I was trying to block him. I then produced a knife to scare him away but he kept advancing towards me,” argued Mtetwa.
He claimed that it was not his intention to kill Thebe but negligently caused his friend’s death when he threw himself at him.
Prosecuting, Mr Thompson Hove said on August 31 last year shortly after 9pm, Mtetwa and Thebe were drinking whisky with friends at a friend’s house in Nkulumane when an altercation ensued between the two.
The court heard that the dispute degenerated into a fight and Mtetwa was defeated.
“Mtetwa left the scene and vowed that he would return and teach the deceased a lesson. He went to his home and returned a few minutes later armed with an Okapi knife,” said Mr Hove.
On his return, Mtetwa confronted the deceased and the fight resumed.
During the scuffle, the court heard that Mtetwa pulled out his knife and stabbed Thebe once in the ribcage and also in the neck and he died instantly.
Mr Ian Ncube, a neighbour who witnessed the incident, said Thebe and Mtetwa were among a group of eight youths who were drinking beer and exchanging vulgar words.
“They exchanged vulgar words before engaging in a fight. During the fight I heard a bottle being smashed and the next thing Mtetwa and Thebe were at each other’s throats and the accused was overpowered and before he left the scene, I heard him shouting at the deceased and threatening to deal with him,” said Mr Ncube.
“Mtetwa returned and the quarrel resumed and the next thing I saw Thebe lying in a pool of blood and when the ambulance arrived he was already dead.”
According to post mortem results, the cause of death was stabbing, heart and lung rupture and hypovolemic shock