A BULAWAYO woman who assaulted her estranged husband with a shovel, breaking one of his ribs, has been jailed for an effective three months.
Velisiwe Maphosa (43) appeared before Western Commonage magistrate Mr Lungile Ncube facing assault charges in connection with the attack on her husband Mr Edward Maphosa (49).
Velisiwe and her husband are both vendors who had been married for more than 10 years before their recent separation.
The pair had an argument early this month over how to share floor polish that they make for sale and Mr Maphosa sustained a broken rib after Velisiwe assaulted him using a shovel.
In his ruling, magistrate Ndhlovu bemoaned the rise in domestic violence cases in which women are the perpetrators.
“Domestic Violence is criminal and will not be condoned whether it is perpetrated by a man or woman. People should live in harmony and find other ways to solve disputes rather than resorting to violence. It is unfortunate that some cases of domestic violence in which men are victims may go unreported. This will send a message to society that the law does not tolerate domestic violence by anyone,” said the magistrate.
“You are therefore sentenced to 90 days imprisonment. No time will be suspended and you will not be given the option of a fine or community service.”
Prosecuting, Mrs Esther Sibanda said the Maphosas, who are both vendors, had an argument over how to share floor polish that they make for sale.
“On March 3 this year at around 8PM, the accused person got into a fight with the complainant over how they were going to share the tins of floor polish that they sell. The accused person started insulting the complainant, accusing him of being unmanly,” said Mrs Sibanda.
“The accused person grabbed a shovel and hit the complainant on his side, under the arm. The complainant fell and called for help.” She said Mr Maphosa suffered a broken rib.
Velisiwe pleaded not guilty to assault charges saying she had acted in self-defence as she was the victim and Mr Maphosa was the aggressor.
“Your Worship, he is the one who started the whole fight. He wanted to cheat me when we were sharing our cobra (floor polish). I contributed more paraffin for making the polish. He also wants to sleep with me yet we are on separation. He cannot claim any conjugal rights. I took the shovel from his hands as he attempted to strike my head and used it to assault him. He had actually threatened to rip open my private parts, which he said were making me crazy,” said Velisiwe.
Mr Maphosa in response accused his wife of denying him conjugal rights.
He said he reported the matter at Luveve Police Station leading to his wife’s arrest.
Recently, Enkundleni/Padare Bulawayo’s programme officer Mr Ziphongezipho Ndebele said there was an increase in the number of men who desperately needed protection from abusive spouses.
He said about 72 percent of Bulawayo men who have gone through counselling at Enkundleni/Padare Men’s Forum have reported that their wives beat them up.
Most of the victims report that police officers worsen the situation by mocking them and asking them to bring the abusive wives to the station before they can open a crime docket.