Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Gwanda Correspondent
A 32-YEAR-OLD woman from Gwanda has reported her brother-in-law for rape 15 years after her family silenced her from revealing the incident.
The 50-year-old man from Spitzkop Suburb, who cannot be named for ethical reasons, allegedly raped his sister-in-law who was 17-years-old while she was living with his family.
The woman narrated her ordeal to her family but they allegedly gagged her from disclosing the matter accusing her of fabricating the story in a bid to destroy her sister’s marriage.
Yesterday, the man pleaded not guilty to rape charges when he appeared before Gwanda regional magistrate, Mr Mark Dzira.
He was remanded out of custody to February 20 for continuation of trial.
Prosecuting, Mr Mncedisi Dube said the woman was invited by her sister in June 2002 to look after her three-month-old baby.
“In June 2002, the complainant moved in with her sister and brother-in-law and she was looking after their child. Sometime in August while the complainant was alone with the child at home, her brother-in-law returned early from work.
“He found the complainant in the bedroom and grabbed her from behind. He then told her that he wanted to have sexual intercourse with her. The complainant refused and wrestled with her brother-in-law but he overpowered her and raped her once,” said Mr Dube.
He said the woman narrated what had happened to her sister when she returned from work on the same day.
Mr Dube said the complainant’s sister reported the matter to other family members who held a meeting and concluded that the complainant was lying in a bid to destroy her sister’s marriage.
He said the family elders ordered the complainant not to report the matter to the police or anyone as it would divide the family.
Mr Dube said the complainant then reported the matter in December last year leading to her brother-in-law’s arrest.
In her statement in court, the complainant said she remained quiet about the matter out of respect for the order she had been given by family elders but the incident kept haunting her.
“I remained silent as directed by the elders and I also didn’t want to wreck my sister’s marriage but the incident kept traumatising me. In 2016 I talked to my brother who stays in South Africa who was not there at the family meeting.
“He urged me to report the matter and when he came home last year in December he accompanied me to the police station to file a report,” she said.