POLICE in Lupane have arrested a former school caretaker who armed himself with a machete and proceeded to a school where his daughter is enrolled and threatened teachers with death.
Sylvester Nzima, 46, of Tiki area under Chief Mabhikwa, was allegedly unhappy that teachers at the school suspected that he had sexually abused his teen daughter. He then allegedly armed himself intending to ‘teach them a lesson.’
As a result, a Lupane court heard, teachers at Tiki Primary School were forced to share a room with 20 pupils as they were scared of an agitated Nzima.
The pupils had spent the night at school as they were preparing to go for an athletics event the following morning.
Nzima, a former caretaker for the school, pleaded not guilty to malicious damage to property when he appeared before Lupane magistrate Mr Ndumo Masuku.
This was after he pelted stones and destroyed window panes at a teachers’ cottage.
Three pupils were also injured in the process, the court heard.
“I don’t know anything about these allegations. All I know is that some men came to my homestead and wanted to attack me so I fled to Tshayile area. I was shocked when I was told that I am wanted for attacking teachers,” said Nzima while denying charges.
The state also alleges that he threatened to kill police investigators when they visited his homestead to arrest him.
He was remanded in custody to Wednesday next week.
A teacher, Netsai Hlukano, testified that she and other two teachers, one of them male and 20 pupils were forced to sleep in a single room as Nzima pelted stones.
“It was raining and the kids slept in a cottage instead of a common room as it was leaking. At midnight the accused came carrying a machete. He started shouting and threatening to kill and we fled into one room.
“That’s when he went outside and started throwing stones. We all clutched each other until he left and eventually we all slept there,” said the teacher.
Prosecuting, Sanders Sibanda said the incident occurred on February 25.
“Nzima went to the school cottages at midnight where he started shouting at teachers. He accused teachers of lying against him that he raped his daughter,” said Sibanda.
Twelve window panes were destroyed in the process.
“Inside were 20 pupils and three sustained injuries after being hit by broken glasses. He also armed himself and threatened two police officers who had gone to arrest him,” said the prosecutor.
Police arrested Nzima at Lupane Centre when he was spotted drinking.