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Inyanga arrested for ‘raping’ 2 minors during cleansing ritual

By Leonard Ncube

An inyanga from Lupane has been arrested after he allegedly raped two minor girls in separate incidents after claiming to be cleansing them of evil spirits. A court heard how he drugged one of the girls with a concoction before raping her and sjamboked the other into submission.

Both girls are aged 16 and were allegedly raped last year.

Thomas Sithole (46), a well-known inyanga from Malungu, near St Paul’s area appeared in court where the two counts were treated separately.

He initially appeared at the Hwange magistrates’ Courts last week where he was released on bail for the first count.

Sithole was arrested last Friday for the second count when he went to Lupane Police Station for bail reporting.

He appeared before Lupane resident magistrate Mr Ndumo Masuku on Monday for the second count and was not asked to plead.Sithole was released on $100 bail and ordered not to interfere with witnesses and to report once on Fridays at Lupane Police Station.

Sithole will next appear on April 19 where both records are likely to be joined together.

Allegations against Sithole are that he approached a family in Lupane and said he wanted to employ the complainant since she had written her Ordinary Level examinations last year.

Sithole allegedly stayed with the girl at his homestead.

“After three days at the accused’s place, the girl wanted to go home but the accused told her that he was taking her to Bulawayo for shopping. On their way from Bulawayo, Sithole drove to Malungu where he raped the complainant once,” said the prosecutor.

The court was told that on arrival to his homestead, Sithole led the complainant to a hut where the two children were sleeping.

Sithole allegedly told the complainant that he wanted to sleep with her since her parents had given her to him.The girl stormed out of the room but he allegedly followed and whipped her with a sjambok several times all over the body, threatening her with unspecified action if she dared tell anyone that he wanted to have sex with her.

Sithole dragged the complainant back into the room and allegedly forced her to undress before raping her once.

After sex, Sithole allegedly ordered the girl to join the two minor kids on another bed where she slept for the rest of the night.

In the morning, he allegedly bragged to her that he had used his juju to have sex with her the whole night without her knowledge.

The girl reported the matter to a Neighbourhood Watch Committee member who accompanied her to Lupane Police Station to make a report, leading to Sithole’s arrest.

On the second count, prosecutors allege that Sithole raped the complainant last year when he was consulted by authorities at Tiki Primary School to cleanse the institution which teachers had abandoned after being attacked by alleged goblins.

The girl is originally from Hope Fountain outside Bulawayo and had visited Lupane when she went to witness the incident.

During the cleansing ceremony, Sithole allegedly told the girl to hide in a house to avoid being attacked by the goblins.

He allegedly followed her and gave her some muti to bath in after which he drugged her with a concoction, the court heard.

The girl became dizzy and passed out.

She discovered that she had been raped when she regained consciousness and saw bloodstains on her privates.

The complainant told her grandmother who was scared to report Sithole.

The girl reported the matter at Hillside Police Station in Bulawayo when she returned to her home and the case was transferred back to Lupane.

Mr Sanders Sibanda prosecuted. The Chronicle