Inquest for ‘murdered’ schoolboy

The Chronicle

Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
POLICE have said an inquest will determine the course of action they would take regarding the death of a schoolboy from Nkulumane suburb following conflicting postmortem reports received from Bulawayo’s two major hospitals.

Prichard Ndlovu (16) who was a Form Three pupil at Founders High School was found dead at Nketa High School last month with his family suspecting foul play.

The first postmortem obtained from United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) concluded that he died due to excessive alcohol consumption while the second one obtained from Mpilo Central Hospital suggests that he was murdered.

His family says the boy was last seen escaping from a teenage gang which was attacking him and his friends in Nketa 6 suburb.

Initially, two suspects were arrested when police opened murder investigations after receiving that information.

The suspects were released after the UBH postmortem results released last month revealed that Prichard died due to excessive alcohol consumption.

However, the boy’s family insisted that he was killed and rejected the UBH postmortem results.

Prichard’s family with the assistance of the local legislator for Nkulumane, Advocate Kucaca Phulu sought a second opinion on the cause of his death.

They approached Mpilo Central Hospital where the second postmortem was conducted and its results were released last week.

The second postmortem compiled by Mpilo pathologist Dr Innocent Jekenya stated that Prichard did not die from excessive alcohol abuse but was actually killed.

“This is not a natural death. It was most likely a result of the trauma to the body i.e limbs, pelvis, back, face and neck. All visceral organs of the chest and abdomen were intact and were not opened or dissected during the initial post mortem done on 12 December 2018 i.e they were not opened and examined internally.

However, we did not see the brain,” reads the report. It recommended that police should institute investigations on the boy’s death.

Bulawayo police spokesperson Chief Inspector Precious Simango said after receiving conflicting postmortem results from the two major Bulawayo hospitals, they will approach the courts for an inquest.

“At the moment we are still treating the matter as sudden death, but we are going to take up the docket to court for an inquest on his death.

“At law we are not authorised to take sides on which postmortem to follow in cases where there are contradicting outcomes.

“Hence, an inquest would be done which will then determine the course of action that should be taken by the police,” said Chief Insp Simango.

She said pathologists from UBH and Mpilo Central Hospital will be brought before the court to defend their postmortem reports.Chief Insp Simango did not reveal when the case would be brought before the courts.

– @nqotshili