The Ndola High Court has heard how a 25-year-old woman who was in a drunken stupour went to her parents’ home, where she allegedly strangled her mother to death. This is in a case Hildah Zulu is accused of killing Racheal Zulu, her mother, on November 26 last year.
It is alleged that when Mrs Zulu’s helper tried to make a phone call to raise alarm, the suspect grabbed the phone and threw it to the floor.
When the matter came up yesterday before Judge Yvonne Chembe, Mrs Zulu’s sister, Lillian Musonda, said the deceased’s body was discovered in her bedroom with dark marks on the neck. She said her sister’s neck appeared to have been strangled because it had marks. “When we were at St Ann’s Ambassador [funeral palour], I asked a doctor who works on the bodies what could have caused the marks on my younger sister’s neck and he said she had been strangled,” Ms Musonda said.
She said she informed family members about revelations by the doctor at the funeral parlour who suspected that Ms Zulu was strangled.
Ms Musonda told the court that there was confusion in ascertaining her sister’s cause of death because other family members claimed that she could have died of blood pressure.
“Others suspected that she took poison,” she said. Ms Musonda said when Mrs Zulu’s family asked that a post-mortem be conducted on the body, her husband refused and insisted on burying it. And Mrs Zulu’s uncle, Oscar Mwila, said post-mortem results presented to the family confirmed that his niece died of strangulation.
He said that weeks after burying Mrs Zulu, family members requested to have a post-mortem conducted on the body to ascertain the cause of death.
“During the post-mortem examination, I observed that Mrs Zulu had marks on her neck while her chest was also full of blood,” Mr Mwila said.
He said Mrs Zulu’s neck was swollen but the body was not decomposed.
“I was the one who identified the body of my niece Racheal Zulu, and after the examination, the pathologist called us and told us that the cause of death was strangulation,” Mr Mwila said.