Amanda Ncube, Sunday News Reporter
AN 18-year-old man from Insuza in Matabeleland North Province who slept with a 12-year-old Grade Seven pupil left the court gallery in stitches when he claimed that they were in love and that her body looked like she was “ripe”.
The man, Talent Tshuma of Village 1B Bush Area in Insuza had pleaded guilty before Bulawayo magistrate Mr Tinashe Tashaya who then sentenced him to 18 months in prison for having sexual intercourse with a young person.
In sentencing him Mr Tashaya said: “You are sentenced to 18 months, six of which are suspended on condition that you do not commit the same offence. The remaining 12 months are converted to 420 hours of community service which will be done at Insuza Police Station.”
The State’s case as presented by the prosecutor, Mr Nkathazo Dlodlo was that on 28 December 2016 Tshuma proposed love to the girl and she accepted.
The court heard that on New Year’s Day and at about 8pm, the two had sexual intercourse once in the bush. The matter came to light when the victim’s mother discovered that the girl had not slept at home and confronted her. She revealed that she slept with Tshuma.
The court heard that the matter was reported to the police, leading to the arrest of Tshuma. The girl was referred to hospital for medical examination. In his defence, Tshuma said the girl told her that she was 17 and she consented to them sleeping together.
“Your worship, she is my girlfriend and we love each other. I didn’t force her, we agreed to have sex. By merely looking at her body anyone could have agreed with me that she is 17 years old,” said Tshuma.