Never Mhlanga, 33, of Nkankezi area is alleged to have forced himself on his friend’s wife to quench his sexual desire before he pleaded with her to conceal the alleged offence after bribing her with the rabbit.
When the woman’s husband came back home he was hungry so he asked his wife to cook the rabbit before going to buy a knife in a bid to attack the alleged rapist, but was dissuaded from doing so by his uncle.
Mhlanga pleaded not guilty to rape charges when he appeared before regional magistrate Joseph Mabeza. He came up with an alibi, claiming he had been in the company of two other men identified as Sibangani Msipha and Gift Ncube.
“When I got to the complainant’s homestead, I stood outside waiting for her to sell me tobacco shavings. She rendered me the service but before I left, she asked if I had caught anything from my hunting. I told her I had caught two rabbits and I gave her one of the rabbits,” Mhlanga said.
He was remanded in custody to today for continuation of trial.
However, the alleged rape victim told the court that when Mhlanga arrived at her homestead, she let him inside the house since he was not a stranger to her. She said Mhlanga was carrying a small axe and his hands were soiled with blood while his shirt also had blood stains.
“My husband was away when he arrived. After I gave Mhlanga the tobacco shavings, I then asked him to pay but he indicated that my husband owed him five rand. I then asked the accused to leave my house as I wanted to sleep but he remained seated and got up some few minutes later,” said the woman.
“He held my hand which was carrying a torch and switched off the torch. He told me to stop behaving like a child saying “ufuna inyawo” (Ndebele slang for he wants sex) since my husband was away.”
She said she tried to resist but got scared that she could be killed as Mhlanga had put the axe under his armpit. “He tore my tights, tripped me to the ground and raped me. He also ejaculated inside me. He then got off and started apologising saying he did not know what had got into him,” she added.
“He then took out a rabbit from the bag he was carrying and gave it to me saying it was for relish and asked me not to tell anyone about the incident before he left.”
The woman who said she was HIV positive, claimed that Mhlanga also infected her with an STI.
The torn skin tights and panties the woman was wearing on the day she was allegedly raped were brought to court as exhibits.
She said she told her husband of her ordeal. Her husband who was hungry asked her to cook the rabbit since they had no other food.
The woman’s husband said at first he bought a knife to stab his friend, but was advised against doing that by his uncle.
“At first I didn’t believe it because Mhlanga was a friend I trusted very much. I was angry that he had the guts to see my wife’s private parts. Later I proceeded to the shops and bought a knife I intended to stab him with, but I was stopped by my uncle who advised me to let the police deal with him,” he said.
Regional prosecutor Johannes Tlou said Mhlanga committed the alleged crime on July 11 this year at around 4AM.
“The accused person grabbed the complainant’s hand and asked to have sexual intercourse with her but she refused. He pushed the complainant to the wall, grabbed the complainant by the neck and lifted his knee and pressed it on the complainant’s stomach,” he said.
“He then started fondling the complainant and he tore the complainant’s tights. He pushed her to the floor and pushed the complainant’s panties aside and had sexual intercourse with her once without her consent.”
The woman and her husband reported the matter to the police leading to Mhlanga’s arrest.