FRANCISTOWN: In a case that could read like a Hollywood script for a blockbuster film, a married couple and their alleged contract killer appeared in court on Friday to face one count of murder and four charges of attempted murder.
The husband, wife, and their co-accused landed in hot soup after they allegedly murdered the husband's former lover. The trio is also indicted for allegedly attempting to murder four people, three of which are the husband’s children with his ex-lover who is now deceased. According to the charge sheet, the husband, Banoziba Dambe (46), director of Bano Investments, his wife, Tiny Dambe (34) a nurse by profession, and their alleged hired killer, Lesedi Khundu (31) who is unemployed, allegedly murdered Conciliah Ncube who was Dambe’s former lover.
According to the Charge sheet, on May 7, 2017, at Flowertown ward in Kazungula village in the Chobe District, the accused persons burnt a house occupied by Ncube thereby causing her injuries from which she later succumbed to on May 12, 2017, at Kasane Hospital. In the four attempted murder counts, the trio allegedly tried to kill Moreblessing Ncube, Tshepiso Ncube and Thabo Ncube, who are Dambe’s children with Ncube, and Andrew Banoziba, a relative on May 7, 2017 at Flowertown ward in Kazungula by setting fire to the house that the complainants were sleeping in.
The accused were initially indicted for all the charges along with Gaone Matebele who has since passed on after Dambe allegedly murdered him. Dambe (banoziba) appeared for mention on Thursday before Justice Barnabas Nyamadzabo for the alleged murder of Matebele. When the case continued for trial on Friday before Justice Bengbame Sechele, Dambe prayed with the court to postpone the matter saying that he wanted to engage an attorney. “I had previously told the court that I had differences over the handling of these matters with my previous state-appointed attorney who is no longer representing me...The charges that I am facing are very serious since one of them attracts the maximum sentence of capital punishment.
These cases are a heavy burden on me. I, therefore, pray that these matters be postponed so that I get another opportunity to engage another attorney,” Dambe pleaded. According to information of some state witnesses who have already testified in court, Dambe told them that his wife was giving him pressure over the monthly maintenance fees of his children with Ncube. Dambe was previously ordered by the magistrate's court to pay P300 monthly for each of his children with Ncube.
However, the case could not continue on Friday since Tiny and Khundu’s attorney, Morris Ndawana, was indisposed. Justice Bengbame Sechele set the case for continuation on December 13, 2021, and April 25 to 29, 2022. Justice Sechele then advised Dambe that in the interim before the case continues on the set dates, he should have engaged another attorney. All the accused were granted bail save for Dambe who broke one of his bail conditions of not committing any offence whilst on bail after he allegedly murdered Matebele.
According to a Daily News report, when the accused were previously arraigned at the Kasane Magistrates Court, Dambe requested Magistrate Mpho Molema to release all his co-accused persons saying that he committed the offence alone. As per the Daily News report, Matebele had said Dambe tricked them into burning the Ncube house since there was no one inside and also laid claim to it. “Banoziba had told us that we should burn the house so that he can be able to receive insurance coverage and be able to hire us to build him a bigger house,” said Matebele then. Gonayaone Ketlhapetswe represents the state.