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Judicial CP - January 2011

Corpun file 23130

The Herald, Zimbabwe, 18 January 2011

4-year-old testifies against rapist in court

By Leonard Ncube

Click to enlarge

A four-year-old girl from New Lobengula suburb testified in court against a 14-year-old boy who raped her during the Christmas holiday.

The boy who is doing Form Three at Sizane High School in Pelandaba is the girls' neighbour in the same suburb.

He was convicted of the offence despite pleading not guilty when he appeared before Mrs Fadzai Mthombeni sitting at the Victim Friendly Court situated at the Bulawayo regional court.

The magistrate said the girl was clever as she answered all questions and managed to narrate her ordeal to the court and kept on mentioning the boy's name each time she was asked about the person who abused her.

She demonstrated with the use of an anatomical doll that was used in court on how she was abused by the boy and pointed to the doll's organ to say that was the organ that injured her.

She told the court while demonstrating with the anatomical doll that the boy had abused her four times thereby giving satisfying evidence on the matter.

The magistrate said there was no reason the girl could lie against the boy as she even showed the court how she and the boy removed their clothes and put them underneath a bridge where the incident took place.

Sentencing the boy, the court considered that the girl's father had assaulted the boy after the rape incident.

The court further considered that the boy's father had testified that his son was a well-behaved school pupil whose performance in class was above average.

However, the court ruled that the boy had betrayed the trust of the girl's parents who let their daughter play with her friends outside their house.

It was said that the boy took advantage of that trust and abused the little girl

The magistrate said the State had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt against the boy and sentenced him to receive a moderate corporal punishment of four strokes with a ratten [sic] cane to be administered in private at the Bulawayo Prison by a designated prison officer.

The State brought in witnesses who included the girl's parents and the boy's father to testify on the matter.

The boy lives with his father and the mother is in South Africa.

The magistrate said the evidence presented by the girl during the course of the matter had proved beyond reasonable doubt that he had abused her.

Mrs Mthombeni said evidence presented by other witnesses only pointed to how the offence was discovered whereas the girl had demonstrated how the boy sexually abused her.

On 28 December last year at a time not known but before 4pm, the girl was playing alone at her parents' gate when the "shameless" boy called her purporting that he wanted to play with her.

He led the girl to a dry drainage in front of their houses and ordered her to lie down in the drain facing upwards.
The boy went on to remove the girl's clothes and panties before removing his trousers, the court heard.

He had sexual intercourse with the girl before letting her go. The girl's mother discovered that she had vaginal discharge and took her to her grandmother who said the girl could have been abused.

The girl was then taken to hospital where it was confirmed that she had been raped and she mentioned that the boy had "injured" her in the drainage.

The court was told that the girl's father went to the boy's place, took him and locked him in the house where he assaulted him.

The girl's father was arrested and fined for assaulting the boy.

Mr Sedric Dube represented the State.-Chronicle

Copyright 2011 Herald. All Rights Reserved.

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