By Sukoluhle Sibanda| A Zimbabwean man based in the UK ended his life and left an emotional suicide note before killing himself.
The full contents of the message indicate strongly that Mr. Charles Ndhlovu (33) at the time of his sudden departure, was bitterly complaining about racism against him.
Ndhlovu, who leaves behind his younger sister and mother, used to work at a petrol station in Suffolk. He was watched by neighbours literally taking with him a rope to tie himself on a tree situated outside his house (on the eve of the anniversary of the same day a work incident had happened the previous year when he was accused of stinking at work, which incident left him jobless). The date was the 11th October 2017. Shortly before he hanged himself, he left a note for his mother in which he told her to “never trust white people”.
On that note (see pictures) he claimed he was a victim of racism and further warned his mother against ‘white’ people. The contents written therein are highly disturbing and distressing.
Before his death Ndhlovu had lost his job after being arrested for allegedly “assaulting” a female work colleague. But it was not assault as in bodily battery; it was a cup of coffee he splashed towards the colleague who had invaded his private space while constantly charging at him as the white female was following and physically encroaching, threatening into him. She in court documents seen by ZimEye.com admits saying she was emotional at the time. She admits that during the confrontation she triggered, she was constantly following him even as he was trying to evade her just as the Zimbabwean man was being told that he stinks.
Soon after that incident, police were called and Ndhlovu was later taken to court.
In explanations, his colleagues who were all white wrote down statements indicating Ndhlovu had been physically charged at because he stunk. Written notes submitted to court say on the day of the coffee incident, Charles Ndhlovu was confronted because he was smelling.
“The white female colleague now claims in her written statement that at that time she was approaching him to apologise to him.
“But she can be seen in CCTV charging at him more than once and following him to the room where he had retreated from her and while making a cup of coffee, it was then when he splashed the coffee into her face,” Charles’ mother told ZimEye.com
During her confrontation, the white female colleague in her statement claimed she was not all aggressive towards Charles Ndhlovu. But in her statement she still writes admitting she was “annoyed and frustrated. She states, “Charles repeated this (it’s because I am black, all you whites are the same) to me several times at which point he wasn’t listening to me and I became annoyed and frustrated, but at no point was I aggressive or abusive to him, that is not my character.”
It was at this juncture that the white female colleague continued charging at him and moved to stand behind him even though she knew he was no longer engaging.
“Whilst talking to Charles I noticed he had switched the kettle on and he was making a drink although I couldn’t be sure which hot drink it was (tea or coffee). I’m not sure what drink Charles drinks. Charles’ temper had increased more and unexpectedly after pouring the water in the cup Charles threw the drink in my face. “
This is how the female colleague narrates the account and the drama which saw Ndhlovu being arrested and charged by police. The police and ambulance were called and Ndhlovu was taken for questioning by the police, before losing his job weeks later.
On this matter, the family questions why she had continued charging at him and even invaded his private space and why she was in the first place standing behind his back while he was making his coffee.
Before the coffee incident, it is believed Ndhlovu was being allegedly victimised by his work colleagues as they accused him of stinking to which they in their statements say he assured them that he washes and uses deodorant.
His work colleagues have authored statements to the effect. In one of the submissions, his then boss (Regional Manager) writes following a meeting which ‘took place’ an hour before the coffee incident saying: “I then moved on to the hygiene issue stating that it is affecting other members of staff as well as customers, he then got quite defensive, raising his voice saying he washes himself and his clothes daily and uses perfume, even though I have noticed the same stains on his trousers for a long while. I apologised and said I meant no offense, I just wished to get to the bottom of why he, or his clothes brought what is quite frankly a repulsive smell. After that was said I again reminded him he can speak to me if he ever wished to about any troubles and to politely keep on top of his hygiene by bringing deodorant to work. I then wished him a good shift and left the store,” the manager concludes.
About an hour later the coffee incident occurred and Ndhlovu was arrested.
Charles Ndhlovu will be buried Wednesday morning (at 10 am) on the 1st of November 2017 and ZimEye will cover the funeral and investigations to follow…