The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Family Relives Christmas Massacre

Beitbridge Bureau — WHAT started off as a quiet Thursday morning turned into horror for a Beitbridge family when its son-in-law gunned down his wife Hilda Maphosa (24) and her mother, Joice Maphosa (54).

In an interview at his homestead in Tshanotshi Village, 40km outside Beitbridge town, Hilda's father Mr Nehemiah Tshovholani Maphosa said his son-in-law Tinandava Muleya (37) arrived at around 8am with a view to resolving a domestic dispute he had had with his wife the previous day.

Officer commanding Beitbridge Police Chief Superintendent Chinhengo said Muleya is still assisting them with investigations.

He said they recovered the 9mm pistol which Muleya allegedly brought from South Africa.

"On several occasions, we resolved disputes between Tinandava Muleya and his wife Hilda Maphosa, who is my daughter over alleged extra-marital affairs on his part.

"On Thursday, he drove here after they had quarrelled and she had sought refuge here."

Mr Maphosa said the couple arrived in the country a week before Christmas.

The two had a misunderstanding on December 26 over infidelity issues, resulting in Muleya assaulting his wife.

"After the assault, Hilda came to my homestead at around 7pm and narrated what had transpired to her mother. We resolved to discuss the issue the following morning in the presence of other family members.

"My son-in-law (Muleya) arrived at around 8am the following day driving an Isuzu pick-up truck and approached Hilda with a view to resolving the matter.

"She told him she had had enough and was breaking up with him. He became furious and went back to his homestead about 10km away where he brought Hilda's clothes," he said.

Soon after giving his wife the clothes, Muleya reportedly drew a pistol from his pocket and shot her twice in the head.

After that he turned the weapon on Hilda's younger sister (Gloria), but missed her and she fled.

"He then aimed at my head and missed again. I fell on the ground and he must have thought he had killed me. He then went to the kitchen where he shot my wife (Joice) thrice, twice on the head and once on the waist. She died instantly.

"Muleya seemed determined to wipe out my whole family as he shot at me again in the stomach but missed. He tried to shoot me in the head for the second time, but the firearm had run out of bullets."

Mr Maphosa said he then picked a shovel and hit him on the right hand, which was holding the pistol.

"We then wrestled him with my son Solostar (28) who had just arrived at the homestead. We overpowered him and repossessed the gun. He fled to his vehicle where I followed and smashed the windscreen and all the other windows and the steering wheel, but he managed to drive off uprooting several trees near my homestead," said Mr Maphosa.

After the shootings, the accused reportedly went to his homestead where he took his children aged five and two years and drove to his brother's homestead in a Nissan Champ he had bought his wife.

Mr Maphosa said Muleya told his elder brother about the incident and the brother handed him over to the police.

Hilda and her mother's bodies were taken to Beitbridge District Hospital pending a post-mortem in Bulawayo.

Solostar sustained bruises on the left arm and leg during the fracas.

"I was just arriving at the homestead when I saw my sister and mother lying in a pool of blood with my father wrestling Muleya. He was determined to kill us all as he kept firing at us but fortunately he ran out of bullets. I joined in the fight and we overpowered him and as a result I sustained bruises on the left arm and leg," said Solostar.

Gloria said she was still in a state of shock because a bullet narrowly missed her head.

"I was standing next to my sister when he shot her twice on the head. He told me that I was very fortunate he had run out of bullets," she said.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2012 The Herald. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.