Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Gwanda Correspondent 

A 22-YEAR-OLD man has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for drugging and raping his friend. 

Mbusowenkosi Ncube of Spitzkop Medium Suburb had pleaded not guilty to a charge of rape but was convicted due to overwhelming evidence by Gwanda regional magistrate Mrs Sibonginkosi Mkandla.

 He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and four years were suspended on condition that he does not commit a similar offence within the next five years.

Ncube had appeared together with Silenkosi Ndlovu (18) also of Spitzkop Medium Suburb but Ndlovu was acquitted due to lack of evidence. 

Prosecuting, Mr Khumbulani Nyoni said Ncube and Ndlovu raped the 14-year-old girl on June 28 after she had accompanied Ndlovu to his place of residence.

“On 28 June at around 2PM Ndlovu met the complainant who is his friend and asked her to accompany him to his house so that he could give her a birthday present. She agreed and when they got to his home Ndlovu gave her a 500ml bottle of 7UP drink which is suspected to have been drugged and she blacked out. Ndlovu was later joined by Ncube and they took advantage and raped the complainant before releasing her to go to home,” he said.

“When the complainant got home her mother suspected that she was drunk. She questioned her daughter who narrated what had happened while at Ndlovu’s home. The complainant went to hospital for an examination and it was discovered that she had some fresh bruises on her private parts. The matter was reported to the police resulting in Ncube and Ndlovu’s arrest.”

In his defence, Ndlovu through his lawyer Mr Themba Khumalo of Mlweli Ndlovu and Partners said on the day in question he arrived home at around 5PM and found the complainant sleeping in his room with the door locked from the inside. He said the complainant told him that her mother had chased her away as she had arrived home as she was drunk.

“My client didn’t enter the room where the complainant was sleeping. He had this conversation with the complainant through the window as she had locked herself inside. He didn’t any point come in contact with the complainant or rape her. If the complainant was involved in any sexual activities it surely happened wherever the complainant went after leaving his place of residence,” he said.

In his defense, Ncube also through his lawyer Mr Khumalo said on the day in question the complainant called him using her friend’s phone and asked him to organise some beer for her which she was going to collect in the afternoon. Mr Themba Khumalo said his client never gave the complainant a 500ml 7up drink .

“My client bought two 375ml star canes and a mirinda orange drink. The complainant arrived at his room on her own and started drinking alcohol which was diluted with the orange drink. He then took some of the alcohol and accompanied his friends leaving the complainant behind drinking alcohol and listening to music. My client will state that there was never a time when the complainant blacked out in his presence. He returned from accompanying his friends and told the complainant to go home and she left. He was surprised when the complainant’s brothers later came in the evening looking for her,” he said.

@DubeMatutu