A MEMBER of a neighbourhood watch committee from Zhukwe village in Gwanda who allegedly forced himself on a 12-year-old Grade 7 minor on several occasions and impregnated her, appeared in court on Monday facing rape charges.
Thobisa Ncube (54) of Zhukwe West Village under Chief Masuku pleaded not guilty to rape charges when he appeared before Gwanda regional magistrate Joseph Mabeza.
He was remanded out of custody to Thursday for continuation of trial.
Regional prosecutor Johannes Tlou said in early November 2012, the girl — now 13 and has given birth — was walking home alone from school in Zhukwe West.
As she passed by Ncube’s homestead, he allegedly called her over and told her to pick some guavas from his orchard in the presence of his children.
After picking guavas, Ncube’s children are said to have immediately left to fetch water from a borehole leaving their father with the complainant.
It is alleged Ncube went into his bedroom hut and called the girl in as she was bidding farewell.
The girl stood at the door and Ncube allegedly grabbed and dragged her into his hut and sexually assaulted her. She screamed for help, but no one came to her aid.
Ncube accompanied the girl home as it was getting dark and had a chat with her mother before he left.
The girl did not tell anyone since Ncube had threatened her with death.
The court heard that Ncube sexually assaulted the girl on different occasions and she still did not tell anyone.
In December 2012, the girl missed her monthly periods and told Ncube about it and he asked if she had any boyfriend to which the girl replied she did not.
Ncube allegedly advised her to drink a cup of tea with lots of tea leaves to terminate the pregnancy, but the girl refused.
After being further pressed by the accused, the girl revealed she had had sexual intercourse with her boyfriend and Ncube told her to blame him for the pregnancy.
Ncube again threatened to kill the girl if she identified him as the one who impregnated her.
The abuse only came to light when a villager suspected the girl was pregnant and interrogated her until she revealed being sexually abused by Ncube on several occasions.
The woman informed the girl’s mother and the matter was reported to the police, leading to Ncube’s arrest.