Date:26 December 2016 - By: Elmon Tshikhudo
The gruesome killing of a young woman by her husband at Tshisahulu outside Thohoyandou marred the Reconciliation Day celebrations that were taking place countrywide.
At the Tshivhula family of Lwamondo-Lukau a somber mood prevailed. Instead of the family joining the celebrations, they were plunged into deep mourning following the gruesome killing of a family member, Nakisani Tshivhula. Tshivhula (24) was mercilessly killed by her husband at Tshisahulu at around 08:00 that morning. The man tried to commit suicide by slashing his neck with the same knife he used to kill his girlfriend.
Details of the murder are still sketchy, as she was alone with her daughter aged five and her sister’s daughter aged ten at her sister’s house when the incident occurred.
It is said that the woman seeked refuge at her sister’s place after complaining about having problems with her husband. Rumour has it that the couple were going through a rough spell. They were supposed to have reconciled during a family meeting that was scheduled to take place the day of her death.
It is alleged the woman recently got a new job in Thohoyandou, but the man did not approve of her job and wanted her to stay at home.
The news of her death spread like wild fire and within minutes people from the surrounding areas were gathering at the scene of the murder. At the scene were shoes and a pot full of meat that indicated that she was busy preparing a meal for the day at the time of her murder. A packet of dagga was also found in one pocket of the boyfriend’s jacket, suggesting that he could have been intoxicated during the commission of the crime.
The dead woman’s brother-in-law, Nnditsheni Budeli, said that he was at work in Thohoyandou when he received the bad news. He narrated the events leading to the death of his sister-in-law.
“There had been some problems between the two and the suspect went to the extent of locking my sister-in-law in his house for three days. On Thursday my daughter went to visit her and that is when she got the chance to escape from the house.
“The husband followed her here, but I told him to go back home as we had to sit with them the following day and see how we could reconcile them. We did not know that he had another agenda, because he agreed to meet the following day.
“The guy phoned a neighbour and found out that the woman was alone at home and he sneaked there where he committed the ghastly murder. It looks like this guy knew there were no people around here and sneaked in unnoticed and killed her in cold blood,” he said.
Budeli said it seemed as if the fight started inside the house as he found a bloodied knife under a sofa in the house. “It seems as if he stabbed her in the house, but she managed to run outside. She fell and that is when he took the knife she was using to cut the meat with and finished her up. We are so saddened as a family, and the children are traumatized as they have seen it all happening,” he said.
Phillip Mudau, the dead woman’s uncle who also arrived at the scene was overwhelmed with grief. “This is a sad day indeed. It is happening at a time when people are solving and reconciling their differences. After all there is nothing that could not be solved in life. I am very touched as an uncle. Had I known maybe I could have done something to avoid this situation. We are very saddened as a family. If he did not love her anymore, he should have just let her go without killing her,” he said.
Human Rights champion, Bardwell Mufunwaini of Mmunna Ndi Nnyi Men’s Forum (Who is the Real Man) condemned the killing. “This is a very sad day for all the people. We are here talking of reconciliation, but here is a man who goes all out to kill his wife in the most gruesome way. It gives a bad name to all men and this is surprising that with so many campaigns by government and non-governmental organizations taking place, men are still the perpetrators of violence against women and children,” he said.
Thohoyandou police spokesperson, Lt Col Mashudu Malelo confirmed the incident and advised people with differences to seek professional help and also confide in people who are close to them if they have challenges.
“We have opened a murder case against the boyfriend. He is to face charges as soon as he recovers from hospital,” he said.
Tshivhula will be buried on Saturday at Lwamondo-Lukau, her home village.
Police cordoning off the area at the murder scene.
Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and has since been a familiar name among the newspaper's readers.