|Man jailed 15 years for indecent assault, rape|
|Saturday, 14 July 2012 21:18|
Sunday News ReporterA 47-YEAR-OLD man from Lupane will languish in prison for 15 years after he was found guilty of raping his 18-year-old daughter-in-law after fondling her breasts on several occasions.
This was heard when the accused person, Sifanekiso Ndiweni, appeared before Hwange magistrate Mrs Dambudzo Malunga facing three counts of indecent assault as defined in Section 67(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 and one count of rape as defined in Section 65(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform ) Act Chapter 9:23.
The accused was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
In mitigation Ndiweni admitted that he committed the offence and told the magistrate to reprimand him for what he did saying the whole village was now laughing at him.
He said he is looking after five orphans and if incarcerated they would starve.
In passing the sentence the magistrate considered that the accused person was a first offender who pleaded guilty to all four counts.
He, however, considered that the accused person committed four very serious offences against the young person.
He said the accused person is the father-in-law to the complainant and they have a special relationship that he was supposed to protect.
He said Ndiweni was also supposed to protect the complainant from sexual predators but instead he decided to be a sexual predator himself.
He considered that a long custodial sentence was appropriate in the circumstances to send a message to society that the court will continue to protect young girls from sexual predators like the accused person.
For the state, Mr Bhekimpilo Tshabalala, told the court that sometime in February 2012 the complainant’s husband left for South Africa to seek employment leaving his wife in the custody of the accused person who is his father.
The court heard that later in February the accused person proposed love to the complainant and was turned down.
The accused person fondled the girl’s breasts resulting in her left breast swelling and she did not tell anyone about it.
On the same day the girl went to the river to fetch water and Ndiweni followed her and found her at the river and requested to have sexual intercourse with her and again the girl turned him down.
The court heard that the accused person tried to trip the girl on the ground but he was overpowered.
The girl went on and informed her in-laws who then approached the accused person and told him to stop sexually abusing the girl.
During the month of March the accused person would fondle the girl’s breasts whenever he met her.
The court heard that still in the same month the accused found the girl bending down washing plates, approached her and touched her private parts.
The girl went and told her mother-in-law who again told Ndiweni to stop sexually abusing the girl.
On 16 April the girl’s mother-in-law left the complainant with accused and five children at their homestead while she went to assist her neighbour in reaping groundnuts.
It is the state’s case that that when they were left alone the accused person sent all five children to go and look for the cattle in the bush while he remained with the complainant at home.
At around 1pm the complainant prepared food for lunch, took a dish of water to the accused person’s bedroom hut to serve him.
The complainant got into accused’s bedroom knelt and placed the dish of water on the floor. Ndiweni then fondled her breasts and she bolted out of the bedroom hut.
The court heard that when she later brought the lunch thinking he had gone out of the bedroom hut, she entered the hut and could not see Ndiweni who had stripped naked and hid himself behind the door.
As she placed the food on the floor he pounced on her, placed her on his bed, removed her clothes and raped her once.
The complainant struggled to free herself from the accused person who was chasing her and left her undergarments in the bedroom hut.
The court heard that the accused person who was still naked stopped at the doorstep and the complainant reported the matter to her mother-in-law who checked on her and discovered that she had no undergarments which she later recovered from the accused’s bedroom hut. The mother-in-law then escorted the complainant to the police leading to Ndiweni’s arrest.