A 13-YEAR-OLD girl from Stanhope Village in Nyamandlovu died during a gruesome rap_e ordeal at the hands of her 18-year-old cousin who later allegedly burnt her body before burying it in a shallow grave, police confirmed yesterday.
Nqobile Moyo allegedly rap_ed the girl while choking her, leading to her death.
In an attempt to conceal the crime, he allegedly put the body in a sack, sprinkled it with paraffin and burnt it.
He then buried it in a nearby bush.
Matabeleland North police spokesperson Inspector Simphiwe Makonese confirmed the incident which happened on Sunday last week at around 3AM.
She said Moyo had been arrested.
Insp Makonese said on the day in question, Moyo was left at home with the victim and two other children.
She said he woke up in the middle of the night and went to the girl’s bedroom where he allegedly rap_ed her twice.
Insp Makonese said Moyo’s mother (45) left home on Sunday morning to visit some relatives in Bulawayo and left him with three children, his victim included.
The two other children were a girl, the deceased’s young sister aged eight and a boy aged 11 years.
“They were sleeping in the same room: the boys were sleeping on the bed and the deceased was sleeping with the younger girl on the floor. At around 3AM, the accused person sneaked into the deceased’s blankets and rap_ed her while his hand was on her mouth and the other hand on the neck choking her to muffle noises. The minor died as a result of choking,” said Insp Makonese.
She said after realising that the minor had died, the suspect took the body to a nearby bush.
“He took her body and went to the bush and sprinkled it with paraffin. He burnt the body before burying it in a shallow grave,” Insp Makonese said.
She said when the other children asked him about the whereabouts of his cousin, he pretended as if he did not know what had befallen her.
Insp Makonese said the deceased’s young sister went to inform the village head that her sister was missing.
Upon interrogation by villagers, Moyo confessed that he had killed her.
‘’I advise parents that they must not leave the girls alone at home. They must seek an adult female who will take care of them while they are away,” said Insp Makonese.
When The Chronicle visited the area, there was a sombre atmosphere.
The village head, Mr Ocean Moyo, said when the children, who were worried about the now deceased, went to his homestead to report the matter, they saw his wife as he was not home at the time. “My wife notified other villagers who then teamed up to search for her. When the remains of the girl were found, one of my committee members called me. I then instructed them to call the police for help. They took my car from home which they used to go to Nyamandlovu police station and when the police came the body was exhumed. The parents of the suspect had arrived, that’s when the suspect said he raped and killed her,” said Mr Moyo.
A villager Miss Nelisiwe Dube said the deceased’s young sister first told neighbours that she could not locate her sister and they advised her to report to the headman.
She said when the deceased’s younger sister woke up in the morning and asked Moyo about her sister, he initially pretended as if he knew nothing before he later opened up saying she disappeared after they had a misunderstanding over the issue of washing plates.
The younger sister notified their neighbours who then advised her to report the matter to the village head.
Another villager who identified herself as Mrs Ndlovu said: “Before they conducted the search, the villagers together with members of the neighbourhood watch apprehended Moyo after he exhibited signs that he was the one who was involved in the disappearance of his cousin.
“While searching they stumbled upon the fresh shallow grave where the victim was buried.”