Rape case takes a dark turn as witness suspected to be pregnant goes missing


Witness disappearance complicates Beitbridge rape case

Startling developments have emerged in the ongoing trial at the Beitbridge Regional Court, where a man stands accused of raping his 13-year-old daughter. Reports suggest that relatives of the accused orchestrated the disappearance of the victim’s sister, a crucial witness in the case. The motive behind the disappearance is suspected to be twofold: to conceal a related crime and to weaken the prosecution’s case.

During a court hearing last week, Constable Allan Kurado, the investigating officer, revealed that he had placed the witness, who is also a minor, under the care of Takalani Children’s Home for her safety. However, she mysteriously vanished from the facility. Constable Kurado informed the court that he learned of the witness scaling over the home’s wall and disappearing. There were indications that individuals outside the home might have assisted her escape.

Disturbingly, workers at the home later informed Constable Kurado that some relatives of the missing witness, who is the accused’s daughter, had taken her clothes after her disappearance. A missing person report was subsequently filed, but the witness remains unaccounted for. Investigations are ongoing, compounded by the fact that prior to her disappearance, the witness disclosed to Constable Kurado that she was pregnant.

“I went back and heard the witness scaled over the wall and disappeared. I also heard during my investigations that she may have been assisted by people who were outside,” Kurado told the court.

“At a later stage some workers at the home informed me that some relatives of the same witness who is the accused’s daughter took her clothes after she had disappeared. After that we filed a missing person report from the children’s home. We are still to find the witness and investigations are ongoing,” said Kurado, adding that prior to her disappearance the witness told him she was pregnant.

The complainant recently informed the court that she once told the missing witness that their dad was raping her.

After the missing girl doubted the complainant, the complainant and her now missing sister swapped sleeping places and the father is alleged to have come one night and touched the complainant’s sister, discovered that it was not the complainant and went out of the room.

The complainant in the case told the court that his father raped her for ritual purposes.

Tsitsi Mutukwa, prosecuting, closed the State case and the accused’s lawyer Muchineripi Nhire said he was applying for discharge at the close of the State case, citing lack of evidence.

Regional Magistrate Innocent Bepura is expected to rule on whether or not the accused should be put to his defence.

The man, a well-known cross-border transporter in Beitbridge is accused of raping his 16-year-old daughter several times over three years. He is, however, denying the charge despite his wife admitting she helped to terminate the child’s pregnancy which was a result of the rape.

The accused’s wife, a stepmother to the complainant, was jailed for four years for her part in helping to administer tablets allegedly to abort the complainant’s pregnancy.

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