Emily Mbewe Court Reporter
BULAWAYO socialite Mike Marata and his friend who were facing charges of raping a 15-year-old girl following an afternoon of booze have been acquitted.Marata, 35, and Bekithemba Maphosa, 29, had pleaded not guilty to the rape charge.
In his ruling, regional magistrate Chrispen Mberewere said there was no evidence that showed that the girl was raped.
“The girl told the court that she did not resist as she was led to the bedroom and she did not scream. The court does not accept that a person takes time to scream when something bad is about to happen.
“If a woman of her age invites men to take photographs of her while bathing wearing only her underwear and allows a man to strip naked in front of her, it shows that she knew what she wanted,” said Mberewere.
He said the medical report that was produced as an exhibit was compiled within 24 hours of the alleged offence, but did not show that the sexual intercourse was from a day before.
“The court finds you not guilty,” said Mberewere.
Prosecuting, Trust Muduma said on April 17, at around 2PM the girl arranged with her friend Munyaradzi Chigodo that she would visit his place of residence for a swim.
Maphosa and Chigodo stay at the same house.
Marata and Maphosa picked up the two teenagers in Greenhill suburb and drove to Bradfield shops where the two men bought beer before they proceeded to Kumalo.
Chigodo was not at the house when they arrived home, Muduma said. The two girls changed into their swimming costumes in one of the bedrooms.
“The girls went for a swim and drank beer during intervals while Marata and Maphosa were playing football while also drinking beer,” said Muduma.
The girls later asked to take a shower and went into the bathroom while Marata and Maphosa sat in the lounge.
“After one of the girls had bathed, the two men also got into the bathroom and Maphosa told the girls that he also wanted to bath,” said Muduma.
The court heard that the alleged victim’s friend, who had wrapped a bathing towel around her waist over the swimming costume, left the bathroom.
Maphosa, the court heard, took a bath while the complainant who was wearing only her panties and no bra, sat and waited for him to finish.
After Maphosa finished bathing, the victim got into the bath tub and told him to leave as she wanted to bath, but he refused, said the prosecution.
Maphosa, the court heard, also jumped into the tub stating that he wanted to bath again. Marata turned up with a mobile phone and asked to take pictures of the complainant, telling her he admired her body and she agreed.
The court heard that after taking the pictures, the complainat got into one of the bedrooms to change and the two men followed her. The two then took turns to have sex with the girl.