A woman, 61, was allegedly raped and robbed while relieving herself when a bus she was travelling in stopped for a recess at around 4AM at a business centre in Bubi district.Bulawayo magistrate Sheunesu Matova, on circuit at Inyathi on Monday, heard that Artwell Khumalo, 27, followed the elderly woman, who cannot be named, as she went to relieve herself behind some shops at Mahamba Business Centre. The bus belonging to Sigauke Bus Company was driving towards Bulawayo from Nkosikazi area in Bubi district.
The bus had a stopover at Mahamba Business Centre, the court heard, so that passengers could relieve themselves.
The bus crew and other passengers waited for the woman not knowing she was being raped. Khumalo, who is employed as a general hand at Waterwish Mine in Inyathi, was not asked to plead to rape and robbery charges when he appeared before Matova.
He indicated that he would deny the charges and the magistrate remanded him in custody to September 28.
He claimed he was falsely implicated as he was coming from a girlfriend’s place when he was arrested by police. “I didn’t rape the woman your worship. I was coming from my girlfriend’s place in the morning when the police arrested me,” Khumalo told the court.
The court heard that the knife wielding Khumalo pounced on the elderly woman and threatened to stab her as he demanded cash. After allegedly robbing the woman, Khumalo is alleged to have demanded sex but the elderly woman refused. Khumalo threatened to stab her again. Out of fear she complied, the court was told. He allegedly ordered her to spread a cloth on the ground and he went on to rape her once, it is alleged.
After the alleged rape, Khumalo allegedly mocked the elderly woman for being a sex maniac.
The elderly woman, went back to the bus and when the bus crew and other passengers questioned her on her long absence, she divulged her experience.
The crew and passengers helped her make a report to the police who launched a manhunt for the suspect and arrested Khumalo.