AN illegal gold panner from Plumtree ganged up with his accomplices and allegedly axed their two rivals before stabbing them with a knife following a dispute over gold nuggets.

This emerged when Patson Ncube (31) of Mphoengs approached the Bulawayo High Court seeking bail pending trial, citing the State as a respondent.

Ncube allegedly teamed up with his accomplices who are still at large and axed Collet Moyo once on the head. They then allegedly turned on his friend Bongani Sibanda and stabbed him with a knife and struck him with an axe.

Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Thompson Mabhikwa granted Ncube bail of $100 and ordered him to reside at his given address in Nketa 6 suburb until the matter is finalised as part of the bail conditions.

Ncube was also ordered to report once a fortnight at Nkulumane Police Station as well as not interfere with State witnesses.

According to State papers, it is alleged that during the month of January this year, Ncube and the complainants went to Mphoengs 19B Mine to join a gold rush. On January 13, the accused persons received information that Moyo had picked an undisclosed amount of gold nuggets. He then pursued him at a place known as Makokoba in Makubu Village in Mphoengs area and found him having lunch in the company of his friends Israel Dladla and Bongani Sibanda.

Ncube confronted Moyo and demanded the gold and the complainant refused to hand it over. Ncube and his accomplices drove away in their car.

On the following day at around 5PM, Ncube and his accomplices returned to Makokoba Business Centre and spotted Moyo with his two friends and they charged towards them wielding axes, machetes, knives and catapults. Sensing danger, Moyo and his friends boarded a Honda Fit and drove away.

Ncube and his accomplices followed the Honda Fit and caught up with the complainants. The accused person hit Moyo once on the head with an axe and his accomplices, who are still at large, joined in attacking the complainant resulting in him sustaining head injuries.

The accused person turned on Sibanda and stabbed him with a knife on the back as he was trying to escape. They also struck him with an axe on the head and he sustained injuries. The two complainants were taken to Mpilo Central Hospital.

A report was made to the police leading to Ncube’s arrest. Ncube, through his lawyer Mr Reliance Ndou of Mugiya and Macharaga Law Chambers, is denying the allegations, arguing that the complainants and their gang stole a Honda Fit belonging to his friend Bukhosi Ncube.

“Bukhosi enlisted my help in giving chase to the complainants who had stolen his car. We caught up with them and blocked the road and that is when angry villagers came and indiscriminately attacked the complainants. We then took the complainants to the police station and reported the matter. We did not participate in the attack,” said.