Wood’s death in focus as inquiry resumes

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Johannesburg - An inquest in Zimbabwe’s second city Bulawayo into the death of former British special forces soldier Robert “Rab” Wood, 54, heard this week that he was found hanged last year in the room of a rented house he shared with his Zimbabwean girlfriend.

Wood’s relatives in the UK accuse the dead man’s local girlfriend, Henrietta Dube, of murdering him.

Wood, who previously served in the British Special Air Service (SAS) regiment, was running a gold mine near Bulawayo for a British businessman.

A post-mortem in Zimbabwe gave his cause of death as asphyxia due to hanging and a pathologist recorded it as suicide.

At the UK inquest in November, Wood’s younger brother Ian said Dube had forged his will to gain control of the mine and that she and her boyfriend also emptied the mine company’s bank accounts.

“My primary goal will be to get her charged for the forging of Rab’s will and to get a proper murder investigation off the ground,” Ian Wood told the Scottish Daily Record at the time.

Rab Wood’s wife, Susan, 59, who lives in the family home in Surrey, knew of her husband’s affair with Dube and spoke with him the day before he died.

This week provincial magistrate Elias Magate heard evidence from a policeman, a taxi driver, who was the last person to see Wood alive and Blessed Sibanda, a gardener who worked at the Bulawayo house Wood and Dube shared.

Sibanda said the couple returned to the property after midnight the night before he died.

He said he went into the house in the morning when he heard Dube screaming and saw Woods hanging from a leather belt tied to the window. - Independent Foreign Service

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