Woman jailed for assaulting ‘go-between’

A 56-year-old Bulilima woman has been jailed for beating up a neighbour who had been tasked by a suitor to ask for her daughter’s hand in marriage on his behalf.

Catherine Bhebhe, who did not want to give away her daughter to a “poor man”, struck her neighbour with a log and bit her while at a community court.

Plumtree magistrate, Livard Philimoni heard that Thandi Khumalo approached Bhebhe with a marriage proposal from Fabias Mpofu.

Bhebhe armed herself with a log and struck the complainant once, bit her and accused her exposing her daughter to useless men.

She was summoned to a hearing by the area’s leadership along with the complainant.

While they were being counselled she assaulted the complainant with open hands and bit her on the cheek.

Philimoni warned Bhebhe that her actions deserved a severe sentence.

“Your age and gender has saved you because had you been younger or had you been a man I would have given you a harsher sentence as that is what you deserve.

“Your actions prove that you are unrepentant as you assaulted someone twice.

“In addition you do not respect the leadership of your community as you assaulted the complainant during a hearing meant to reconcile you with her,” said Philimoni.

He slapped her with 12 months of which three months were suspended on conditions that she does not commit a similar offence within five years.

Prosecuting Paul Mpofu said: “On January 19, Khumalo was sent to Bhebhe’s house by Mpofu to inform her about his intention to marry her daughter. This did not go down well with Bhebhe and on the following day she armed herself with log and beat up the complainant and also bit her cheek.
“The complainant reported the matter and they were summoned by the traditional leadership of the area on January 22. While they were being counselled Bhebhe assaulted the complainant for the second time.”

Mpofu added: “In the process Bhebhe was accusing the complainant of being a prostitute and exposing her daughter to men for purposes of prostituting.”

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