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A 25-year-old Figtree man who tracked and raped his mother’s 67 year-old drunken friend while she was coming from a beer drink, was on Friday sentenced to 14 years in jail.
Smile Zikhali of Ezihwabeni village was convicted on his own plea of guilty to rape by Bulawayo regional magistrate Mr Crispen Mberewere. He will serve an effective 10 years in jail after four years were suspended for five years on condition that he does not within that period commit a similar crime.
In passing the sentence, Mr Mberewere, took into account the fact that Zikhali was a youthful first offender who did not waste the court’s time by pleading guilty.
“Rape is a serious offence which is prevalent these days. You humiliated a 67 year-old woman by undressing and raping her and it is clearly unacceptable.
Drinking beer should not be used as an excuse to commit crime,” said the magistrate.He said Zikhali’s conduct was deplorable and unacceptable.
“I am sending you to jail so that you have time to reflect on your conduct and come out a reformed and better person,” ruled the magistrate.
Prosecuting, Mr Simbarashe Manyiwa said on May 9 this year, Zikhali and the complainant were drinking beer together at Ntenjani Business Centre in Figtree. The court heard that at around 7PM, the complainant left the pub and proceeded to her home leaving Zikhali behind.
“Zikhali later left the business centre and followed the complainant. He stalked her as she walked along footpaths and caught up with her as she was about to reach her home,” said Mr Manyiwa.
Zikhali grabbed the old woman by her neck and dragged her to a nearby bush where the two wrestled. The court heard that Zikhali overpowered the victim and forced her to lie on the ground.
“He removed her panties and raped her once. The complainant reported the matter to the police leading to Zikhali’s arrest. On being asked why he committed the offence, Zikhali, a single father of two, said he was drunk and did not know what transpired. chronicle