Home » Health Services » Boy, 10, Accidentally Killed Over HIV Meds

A MATABELELAND South man slapped his HIV positive ten year-old brother after the boy refused to take his medication. The boy however, fell headlong onto a pile of bricks and died, the High Court heard in Bulawayo this week.

Thuso Ndou of Zezani area under Chief Sitauze in Matabeleland South had pleaded not guilty to murder and was convicted of culpable homicide instead by High Court judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha on Tuesday.

Ndou was relieved when the judge sentenced him to 526 hours of community service saying he had endured enough pain during his incarceration for a year.

Sentencing Ndou, Justice Kamocha told him he would be haunted by his brother’s death for the rest of his life.

“The circumstances that dissuaded the court to consider the sentence are that the accused suffered enough when he spent one year in remand prison.

“Understandably, he meant to chastise his brother but it went the wrong way. A young life was lost and Ndou will certainly be haunted by his brother’s death for the rest of his life,” said Justice Kamocha.

He sentenced him to 28 months in prison of which 10 months were suspended for four years on condition he does not within that period commit a similar offence.

The remaining 18 months were further suspended on condition Ndou performs 526 hours of community service starting July 21 at Zezani Police Station.

According to State papers, Ndou started looking after the boy following the death of their parents.

Prosecutors say on July 31 last year, at around 12PM, Ndou ordered the boy who was on anti-retroviral therapy to take his medication, but he refused culminating in the beating.

He slapped the boy on the face and he fell down headlong on a pile of bricks and sustained head injuries. There was bleeding in the brain and blood gushed out through his ears.

Ndou later tried to administer first aid by pouring water on the boy. He then took him to a local clinic and he died along the way.

The case was reported to the police resulting in Ndou’s arrest.

The State accepted the limited plea of culpable homicide following a successful application for a less charge by pro deo defence lawyer Brighton Sengweni.

In mitigation through his lawyer, Ndou pleaded for leniency, arguing that he did not intend to kill his brother, but acted out of anger as he wanted the boy to lead a normal healthy life by consistently taking his ARVs.

“The accused had seen the effects of the boy not taking his medication when their parents died and he feared that if the boy did not take his tablets, it would further complicate his condition,” said Sengweni.

He added: “The accused therefore sought as a single slap in order to send a lesson to the boy so that he would not stop taking the life prolonging drugs.

“Sadly the accused’s conduct resulted in the boy losing his life as he made efforts to save it and he showed remorse by pleading guilty.”

Source : New Zimbabwe