By Mashudu Netsianda
One of the two suspects who allegedly took turns to rape a Bulawayo nurse at knife point after raiding her Cowdray Park home before robbing her of $87 and valuables worth more than $3 670, has approached the High Court seeking bail pending trial.
Nkosixolo Mpofu (26) allegedly ganged up with Promise Mpunzi (38) and they allegedly sexually abused the woman before robbing her of money and household property.
Mpofu, through his lawyers Mugiya and Macharaga Law Chambers, filed an application for bail pending trial at the Bulawayo High Court citing the State as a respondent.
In his bail statement, Mpofu said he was a suitable candidate for bail and argued that there were no compelling reasons justifying his continued detention.
He is denying the charges, arguing that he was only implicated by his alleged accomplice. He argued that if granted bail he would not abscond and offered to surrender his passport and reside at his given address in Cowdray Park until the matter is finalised as part of the bail conditions.
“The applicant’s previous behaviour is also a factor to consider. It is submitted that the applicant did not behave in any manner supportive of the assertion that he is likely to abscond if admitted to bail. On the likelihood that if admitted to bail further offences would be committed, it is submitted that, that in itself is not a reason to deny him bail, especially in the absence of any concrete evidence,” argued Mpofu’s lawyers.
Mpofu said he would not interfere with State witnesses and offered to report once every two weeks at Luveve Police Station as well as deposit $200 bail with the clerk of court at the Western Commonage magistrate’s court.
“Apart from mere speculation and conjecture I put the respondent to the strictest proof thereof any concrete evidence to suggest that the applicant is a flight risk. In the absence of any concrete evidence suggesting that granting the applicant bail may compromise the ends of justice, I submit that the balance tilts in favour of the granting of bail,” said Mpofu’s lawyers.
He also submitted that he was of ill-health and pleaded with the court to grant him bail on compassionate grounds.
The State is yet to respond to the application.
According to court papers on August 29 this year at around 1AM, the woman was home alone sleeping when Mpofu and his accomplice allegedly broke into her house.
The complainant was woken up by unusual movements within the house after the accused persons had forced open the locked door to gain entry.
She switched on a torch on her cellphone to check what was happening. Mpofu and Mpunzi threatened her with a knife and covered her face with a black plastic bag.
The two men took the woman’s handbag that had cosmetics and a bronze necklace. They demanded cash from her while at the same time poking her with the knife. The complainant revealed to them that she had $87 in her Ecocash wallet and she gave them the PIN code.
They proceeded to the lounge where they took a 32-inch television set, cell phone, Kango steam iron and Ecco DVD player. Before leaving her house, Mpunzi and Mpofu dragged the woman into her bedroom and allegedly took turns to rape her.
The woman said there was no electricity when robbers broke into her house.
On September 16, acting on a tip off, detectives arrested Mpunzi and managed to recover the DVD player, sports shoes and the stolen steam iron from his house. He implicated Mpofu leading to his arrest and the stolen television and some of the cosmetics were recovered.
The complainant went to the police station the following day and she positively identified her belongings. The Chronicle