Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Gwanda Correspondent
A 26-YEAR-OLD man from Filabusi has been jailed for 24 years after he struck his niece with an axe on the head and raped her several times after holding her hostage for a week in a mountain.
Nkosinathi Ndlovu of Sanali pleaded guilty to attempted murder charges but denied kidnapping and raping his victim.
He was however, convicted on all charges by Gwanda regional magistrate, Mr Mark Dzira, due to overwhelming evidence against him.
Ndlovu, who is serving a five-year jail term for assaulting the complainant’s mother during the same incident, was sentenced to 24 years in jail for the kidnapping, rape and attempted murder.
Two years were suspended on condition that he does not commit a similar offence within the next five years.
Prosecuting, Mr Blessing Gundani said Ndlovu struck his 22-year-old niece with an axe four times on the head on July 28 last year at around 9PM.
He dragged her to a mountain about a kilometre away and held her hostage for seven days.
He raped her several times during that period.
“On 28 July 2018 at around 9PM, the complainant went to her bedroom to sleep and found Ndlovu seated on the floor. She ordered him to leave but he refused. The complainant went to her mother’s bedroom and informed her of Ndlovu’s presence,” he said.
“The complainant’s mother ordered Ndlovu to leave her homestead but instead he ran to the kitchen hut and came back with an axe and he struck the complainant four times on the head with it. The complainant fled from Ndlovu and sought refuge in the house.”
Mr Gundani said Ndlovu then ordered the complainant to come out of the house while threatening to burn it down.
He said when the complainant came out, Ndlovu dragged her to Impala Mountain which is about a kilometre from the homestead.
Mr Gundani said Ndlovu stayed with the complainant in the mountains from July 28 and raped her several times after threatening to axe her to death.
“On August 3 at around 6AM, Ndlovu shaved the complainant’s head using a razor blade. On the same day at around 9AM, he released the complainant to go home and threatened to kill her if she reported the matter. The complainant reported the matter on the same day at Filabusi Police Station,” he said.
In his defence, Ndlovu denied having kidnapped the complainant and raping her.
He said on the day in question the complainant called him to her house as they were in love.
Ndlovu said he asked the complainant about some money that she owed him.
He said the complainant got angry and retrieved an axe and tried to attack him.
Ndlovu said he overpowered and struck her with the axe in self-defence. He said the complainant then willingly left with him for the mountains and she consented to sex after staying there with him willingly.
Testifying, the complainant’s mother said she tried to stop Ndlovu from attacking her daughter but he struck her with an axe too. She said she did not see that Ndlovu had left with the complainant as she was bleeding profusely and in pain.
The woman said she was hospitalised for five days and when she returned home her daughter was nowhere to be found.