Manchester United's Harry Maguire and teammates. File picture: Phil Noble/Reuters
Manchester United's Harry Maguire and teammates. File picture: Phil Noble/Reuters

Man killed over Manchester United T-shirt, funeral held at alleged killer’s home

By iHarare Time of article published Apr 6, 2021

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Harare - The family of a murdered Bulawayo man held his funeral service at their neighbour’s home on Sunday, despite accusing the neighbour of beating him to death.

The deceased, Blessing Zikhali, was accused of stealing a Manchester United T-shirt from a washing line.

Zikhali, 30, died on Wednesday after he was allegedly brutally assaulted at the neighbouring house where Khumbulani Sithole, also known as Sniper, an umalayitsha (cross-border transporter), allegedly brandished a pistol to frighten people from rescuing his victim.

Zikhali’s family held the funeral service at Sithole’s home, three houses away from theirs.

Bulawayo provincial spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said two people — Farai Fero and Fortune Ngwenya — have been arrested in connection with the murder.

The Chronicle reports that its news crew attended the service but members of the Sithole family were not at home.

Proceedings, including body viewing, were held at the neighbour’s gate before the family proceeded to Athlone Cemetery Extension for the burial.

The Sithole family was not part of the burial and it is said they bought a goat to be slaughtered for mourners, but the Zikhali family would have none of it.

Lindiwe Ndlovu, the deceased’s aunt, said Zikhali was accused of stealing Sithole’s Manchester United T-shirt from a washing line. Sithole claimed the T-shirt cost him about R1 200.

He also claimed the shoe-print of the person who stole the T-shirt was similar to Zikhali’s.

They reportedly fetched Zikhali from his home at 8am and started assaulting him until around 1pm. They came back at about 4pm and assaulted him in front of his father who watched helplessly as Sniper locked the gate to his home and drew a pistol, making it impossible for anyone to render any assistance.

He threatened to shoot anyone who would enter his home as they assaulted him

After brutally assaulting him, they handed him over to the police.

A third culprit escaped together with Sniper, and it is alleged that the two crossed the border to South Africa.

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