A 36-YEAR-OLD Esigodini woman suffered a painful death after she was axed by a fellow villager who is claiming that he thought she was a goblin that had invaded his hut, Sunday News reported.

Matabeleland South acting Provincial Police Spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Christopher Ngwenya, confirmed the incident yesterday.

“We are handling a case where a 36-year-old woman was axed by a fellow villager in Esigodini after he assumed she was an intruder in his home,” he said.

The accused person, Jefter Ndlovu (81), is from Irisvale Village Three in Esigodini while the deceased is Nomathemba Ncube (36) also from the same village under Chief Mabhena.

Circumstances are that on 10 February at around 8pm the deceased retired to bed with her mother. Her mother, Ms Grace Mtshede, waited until Nomathemba, who was mentally unstable, was fast asleep.

It is said at around 11pm Nomathemba woke up and went to Ndlovu’s hut where he was sleeping and she entered through a door that was not locked.

Her mother did not notice that she had left the room as she was deep in sleep. Ndlovu is alleged to have heard some noises in his hut and he armed himself with an axe. He is said to have spotted Nomathemba and struck her twice in the head with the axe. She screamed for help and fell unconscious on the veranda of the hut.

The screams attracted her mother and another villager who ran to where the two were and found her lying on the veranda with the axe still stuck in her head.

They called for an ambulance and she was pronounced dead by the ambulance crew before they left. However, one of the village leaders who attended the scene noticed that she was still alive and called for a second ambulance which ferried her to Esigodini hospital.

She was referred to United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) where she was admitted and died three days later. Sunday News is in possession of a gruesome picture of Ngwenya with the axe stuck in her head, while she was in the intensive care at UBH.

Asst Insp Ngwenya said the accused was still assisting police with investigations but said such unfortunate incidents could be avoided.

“In this incident the deceased person had a mental condition. If we have people like this in our families they should be taken for check-ups regularly so that they get medical attention. We also urge people in rural communities to have secure homes, they should lock their doors at night and avoid people straying into their homes at night,” he said.

However, the mother of the deceased and her family are not impressed with the conduct of the accused person, saying he did not offer any support to them to cover funeral costs.

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