An 18-year-old Tsholotsho man caught in the act of ravishing his eight-year-old cousin claimed that the two were lovers and were engaging in consensual sex.
The man told the girl's shocked mother who had forced her way into the kitchen hut where he slept that he was not doing anything wrong as the minor was his lover.
The teenager pleaded not guilty to rape before Bulawayo magistrate Sikhumbuzo Nyathi but was convicted and sentenced to an effective four years in prison.
Magistrate Nyathi initially sentenced him to seven years but suspended three years for five years on condition that he does not commit a similar offence.
Testifying in court, the girl's mother said she visited her daughters' bedroom hut and discovered that she was not in bed.
"My two other daughters then told me that their sister had accompanied their cousin to his bedroom hut. I then became suspicious and went straight to the kitchen and forced the door open," she said.
She said she got a shock of her life on finding her nephew on top of her daughter and both of them naked.
"He quickly got up and dressed, leaving the hut. I then proceeded to my neighbour and we then made a police report," the mother said.
The state case led by Masimba Saruwaka was that on July 30 at around 6PM, the girl was asleep in a bedroom hut together with her two younger sisters at their home in Tsholotsho.
The teenager entered and woke the girl up before ordering her to follow him to the kitchen and she complied. He undressed the complainant and told her to lie down facing up. He then raped her.
While he was still on top of his cousin, the girl's mother opened the door and caught them red-handed. There are also reports that the young girl was screaming in pleasure when the two were caught red-handed.
The girl was taken to Tsholotsho Hospital where she was treated and a medical report was compiled.