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HWANGE: Trial of two men who allegedly killed a Mosi-oa-Tunya High School girl who was on a picnic with a boyfriend kicks off this week when the Hwange third term High Court Circuit opens.
Nhlanganiso Luphahla and Augustine Ncube are charged with murder and robbery, after they also allegedly robbed the late Praise Mpofu, 16, and her boyfriend Brian Dube, 21, of a laptop and cellphone handsets.
Luphahla, 35, of Old Pumula in Bulawayo, was arrested as he attempted to sell the laptop. He then implicated Ncube who was nabbed after boarding a South African bound vehicle in Bulawayo as he planned to escape to the neighbouring country.
According to the court list, Luphahla and Ncube’s trial will be the first of the 10 cases, all of them murder that have been set down for trial.
Praise’s body was found floating in the Zambezi River while Brian was left for dead after the assault.
Praise and Brian, both pupils at Mosi-oa-Tunya High School, went to the Big Tree, a tourist attraction, after writing mid-year examinations.
It is alleged that Luphahla and Ncube found the two high school lovers near the Big Tree at dusk on July 15.
Ncube allegedly used a log to strike Brian on the back of the head before force-marching the victims to a secluded place where it is thought they forced them to undress.
They then allegedly assault their victims resulting in Brian falling unconscious.
It is alleged that Luphahla led Praise further into the bush where he tried to rape her before hitting her with a log causing her death.
He then threw the body into the river, it is alleged.
Ncube who was guarding Brian, allegedly tied him with a laptop cable before stealing cash, the laptop and cellphones.
Brian was picked unconscious by some tourists who alerted the police.
Also going on trial is the couple from Inyathi which beat to death its minor child for bedwetting in April this year.
Gilbert Ndlovu and his wife Sinanzeni Ndlovu face murder charges after the child died in hospital following a thorough beating by the two. source-newzimbabwe