By Michelle Gwizi
A Bulawayo man who raped and impregnated his relative 13 years ago has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for raping his daughter who was born out of the incestuous relationship.
The girl, a court heard, only discovered that the man she grew up knowing as her uncle was her biological father, after she told her mother about the sex attacks.
It was revealed in court that the complainant’s family covered up her mother’s rape and attempts were made to conceal that the complainant had been attacked by the same person.
The accused person (38) who looked sickly appeared before Bulawayo Regional magistrate, Mrs Sibongile Marondeze, who sentenced him to 15 years and suspended five years on condition of good behaviour.
The magistrate highlighted that the offence was a serious one considering that accused person is the father of the complainant showing that the child trusted the man and never expected harm from him.
“You have been sentenced to 15 years in prison, five years suspended on condition of good behaviour,” said Mrs Marondeze.
The accused person had pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape but he was convicted due to overwhelming evidence.
The court heard that the complainant’s mother told her she was also raped by the accused person.
The complainant’s mother never reported the matter to the police because it was “resolved by her family.”
Prosecuting, Mr Jethro Mada said sometime in October 2017 the complainant was with the accused person at their house in Bellevue suburb. Accused person instructed complainant to prepare tea while he took a bath.
“He told her to take the tea to his bedroom, accused person followed her and produced an okapi knife and threatened to stab her if she made noise.
“He tied her mouth with a cloth, pushed her to the bedroom, undressed her and raped her once with protection,” said Mr Mada.
The complainant told the court that her mother told her that she was also raped by the accused person.
“When l told my mother who is in South Africa about the rape, she told me that l have been calling the accused person my uncle but in reality he is my father. She told me that she was also raped by the accused person, got pregnant and gave birth to me,” she said.
The court heard that the complainant had reported the matter to her aunt on the same day and was told not to reveal the matter to anyone.
“Sometime last year in August the complainant was left with the accused person while others were at work. Accused person grabbed the complainant from the kitchen to his bedroom threatening her with an okapi knife and raped her again with protection.
“After some days complainant visited and told her aunt in Nkulumane who promised to report the matter to the complainant’s mum,” said the prosecutor.
The complainant told her friends at school who then took the matter to the headmistress who reported to the police leading to accused’s arrest, the court heard. The complainant was medically examined and the medical report was produced as an exhibit. The Chronicle