Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Gwanda Correspondent
A 59-YEAR-OLD Bulawayo man has appeared in court for allegedly raping his 16-year-old stepgranddaughter after proposing love to her.
The man from Nketa 8 Suburb who cannot be named for ethical reasons pleaded not guilty to a rape charge when he appeared before Gwanda regional magistrate, Mrs Sibonginkosi Mkandla.
He was remanded out of custody to September 24 on $1 000 bail.
Prosecuting, Mr Khumbulani Nyoni said the accused person allegedly raped the complainant who is a Form Two pupil sometime in May while at his rural home in Esigodini.
“On an unknown day but in the month of January the complainant was sent by her mother to collect lemons from the accused person’s house in Nketa 8 suburb. The complainant found the accused person alone at home and he proposed love to her but she refused and left his home.
“During the month of May the complainant and her siblings went to Esigodini to visit the accused person and their grandmother. The accused person found the complainant cleaning his bedroom and he requested to have sexual intercourse with her but she refused. He stopped the complainant from leaving, grabbed her by the hand and forcibly removed her clothes.”
Mr Nyoni said the accused person pushed the complainant onto the bed and raped her and threatened to assault her if she revealed the matter to anyone.
He said in June the complainant fled from the accused person’s homestead and went home where she reported the matter to her mother. The matter was reported to the police resulting in the arrest of the accused person.
In his defence through his lawyer, Mr Costar Dube of Dube and Associates Legal Practitioners the accused person denied raping or proposing love to the complainant.
“My client denies proposing love to the complainant or making any inappropriate comments to her anytime either at his house in Nketa or at his rural home. He denies having sexual intercourse with the complainant with or without her consent and states that during the period in question he was staying with 10 other people at his rural home leaving him with no chance to be alone with the complainant at any point in time whether during the day or night,” he said.
“These allegations were fabricated by the complainant just to avoid being taken to the rural home where she will be restricted and admonished regularly because of her wayward behaviour. He also disputes that the complainant left the rural home out of fear of being further abused by him as at the time he was mostly staying in town and only going to his rural home on weekends. My client denies doing anything wrong to the complainant beyond verbally admonishing her.”
In her testimony made in camera, the complainant said the accused person first made remarks to her that she was now grown up and was supposed to have sexual intercourse with him. She said in May the accused person took her and her siblings to his rural home as schools were closed. She said that was when the accused person raped her. — @DubeMatutu