A few days ago, police officers – some in their uniforms and others in blue forensic clothes – stopped outside a toilet in Ledig, a village near Sun City resort, in North West. They also brought an excavator along.
In one of the cars was 42-year-old Nancy Majonhi. She had recently returned to South Africa after being home in Zimbabwe for the past six years.
After getting out of the car, Majonhi pointed out a pit toilet to the police. Shortly afterwards the police gave orders to the man operating the excavator to demolish it.
Forensic police dressed in protective clothing sifted though the excrement and dirt, unearthing some human remains. Next, Majonhi pointed out another pit latrine not far away which was also demolished. More human remains were found.
By the time three toilets had been reduced to rubble, a small pile of human remains – including a skull and bones – had been retrieved.
According to Majonhi, they belonged to her “missing” husband Prosper Chipungare.
She told police that she had killed him, dismembered the body, and had thrown the pieces in the toilets.
After the remains had been placed in evidence bags, police put Majonhi back in their vehicle and drove her to the cells where she had been held since her family brought her to South Africa and handed her to the police. This after she had confessed to them that she had murdered her husband.
The tragic events that led to the murder date back more than six years, to Tuesday, July 28, 2015.
According to the information Majonhi gave to the police after her family handed her over, she and her husband rented a room that was not far from the toilets she had taken the police to.
The couple had two children and both of them were in Johannesburg at the time. A third child had unfortunately died.
On that fateful Tuesday, the husband and wife were involved in a heated argument.
According to the spokesperson for the North West police Brigadier Sabata Mokgwaabone, Majonhi admitted to having brutally assaulted Chipungare with a hammer during the argument, until he fainted.
Mokgwaabone said Majonhi further told the police that, as her husband lay on the floor, she took a spade and hacked him into pieces.
Asked if Chipungare was still alive or had already died when he was dismembered, Mokgwaabone said: “We don’t know if she waited for him to die first before cutting him into pieces (as she claims) or he was merely unconscious when he was dismembered.”
From there, Majonhi took her husband’s dismembered body, went to three toilets in the neighbourhood, and threw the pieces in each.
It is also not yet known how Majonhi carried the dismembered body out of the house, whether she had put the pieces in bags or plastic bags.
However, what is known is that after throwing the body parts in the toilet, she thoroughly cleaned the scene of the crime until there was no trace of the brutality that had just occurred there.
Once satisfied that the place was clean, she went to Sun City Police Station, where she reported that he husband was missing and asked police to help look for him.
A missing person case was then opened. Despite asking police to look for her missing husband, Majonhi did not wait to find if he would be found. She packed her bags and went back home to Zimbabwe, and never returned to South Africa.
Back in South Africa, Sun City Police Station officers’ efforts to find Chipungare were unsuccessful and they finally closed the case.
In Zimbabwe, however, a breakthrough was revealed about what happened to Chipungare. It is not yet know what led to Majonhi finally revealing the truth about her husband but, earlier this month, she told her family and her in-laws what happened to her husband.
The details were so horrific that the families decided it would be best if they brought her back to South Africa and informed the police.
Once in South Africa, Majonhi made an admission to the police regarding events of July 28, 2015 – the day her husband disappeared. They then started looking for the body based on the information she provided.
The human remains, believed to be Majonhi’s husband, have since been taken for DNA tests.
Majonhi appeared in court on August 26 on a charge of murder.
Her case was postponed for further investigations and to also secure the services of a Shona interpreter for her.