Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
A 33-year-old man who allegedly raped an 18-year-old pregnant woman during a private photoshoot in Bulawayo, was arrested on Monday and appeared in court the same day.
Phakamani Sibanda of 6 Hardy Road in Sunnyside, Bulawayo, was remanded out of custody to February 15 for continuation of the trial.
Bulawayo province police spokesperson, Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed Mr Sibanda’s arrest.
“Police acting on a tip-off from members of the public arrested a 33-year-old man, Phakamani Sibanda, in connection to the alleged rape of a pregnant 18-year-old woman during a private photoshoot last year in December in Bulawayo.
“He has since appeared in court and was remanded out of custody until February 15 for continuation of the trial,” said Insp Ncube.
The photo studio where the alleged rape occurred is situated at the corner of Fort Street and Fourth Avenue in Bulawayo.
The incident occurred on December 28 last year, when the complainant went to the studio for a photoshoot at around 9AM.
She was wearing a dress and Sibanda took some photos of her and after some time she asked for a room to change her clothing for another set of photos.
Mr Sibanda provided her an office for her to change her clothes.
As she was changing, the accused knocked and entered the room and instructed her to take off her skin tight so that the photo could be of greater quality. She told Sibanda she wasn’t comfortable with his request.
After voicing her concerns, Sibanda left the office and the victim changed into a new set of clothes and then proceeded to continue with the photoshoot.
When they were done and she went to change again, that was when the Sibanda allegedly pounced.
It is alleged Sibanda followed her into the office, held her by the waist and told her that she looked good before raping her.
During the ordeal, she screamed for help, but no one came to her aid.
Afterwards, Sibanda is said to have apologised for his actions and told her he would send some photos.
A report of the rape was made on December 31, after the victim narrated her ordeal to another woman, leading to his arrest on Monday. – Follow on Twitter @bonganinkunzi.