Thandeka Moyo, Court Reporter
A PLUMTREE man was yesterday slapped with an 18-year jail term for raping a girl he accused of stealing his mobile phone.
Thabani Dumani pounced on the 13-year-old who was walking on a pathway away from home and claimed that she had stolen his phone.
Passing the sentence yesterday, regional magistrate Mark Dzira said Dumani deserved a deterrent sentence to send a message to would-be offenders.
“The court has found you guilty of a very serious crime. You are therefore sentenced to 18 years imprisonment of which three years are suspended for five years. If within that period you are convicted of a similar crime you will be jailed without of a fine,” said magistrate Dzira.
Tinashe Dzipe for the State told the court that sometime in February last year at around 9.30AM, the girl met Dumani who greeted her.
“The girl refused to have any conversation with Dumani and continued walking. Dumani started searching his pockets and then accused the girl of stealing his phone,” said Dzipe.
“He ordered the girl to accompany him to a nearby police road block along Plumtree Border main road and the girl compiled believing they were going to the police. While deep in the bush, Dumani stopped and threatened to assault the girl if she did not undress herself.”
The court heard that the girl removed all her clothes.
“Dumani raped the girl once and ordered her to continue with her journey. Investigations later led to his arrest and the girl was referred to hospital for medical attention,” said Dzipe.