Beitbridge Rape Case Takes a Twist as Key Witness Disappears

Critical Witness in Father's Rape Trial Vanishes, Suspected Pregnancy Adds Complexity

by Adenike Adeodun

In a disturbing turn of events, relatives of a man from Beitbridge accused of raping his 13-year-old daughter are allegedly involved in the disappearance of the victim’s sister, a key witness in the ongoing trial at the Beitbridge Regional Court. This case has taken a complex turn as the missing witness, also a minor, is suspected to be pregnant, possibly in connection with a related crime.

According to a report by Newsday, Constable Allan Kurado, the investigating officer, informed the court last week about the disappearance. He had placed the witness in Takalani Children’s Home for protection, only to find out later that she had scaled the wall and vanished. “I also heard during my investigations that she may have been assisted by people who were outside,” Kurado stated, revealing that the girl’s relatives reportedly collected her clothes after her disappearance.

This incident has sparked a missing person investigation, with authorities still searching for the witness. Prior to her disappearance, the witness confided in Kurado about her suspected pregnancy, adding another layer of complexity to the case.

The complainant, the accused’s daughter, recounted to the court how she had swapped sleeping places with her now missing sister to prove the father’s illicit actions. The father, a well-known cross-border transporter in Beitbridge, allegedly attempted to assault the swapped sister, realizing his mistake, before fleeing the room.

The daughter also alleged that the rapes were for ritual purposes, a claim that has added a chilling dimension to the proceedings. The state, led by prosecutor Tsitsi Mutukwa, has closed its case. The accused’s lawyer, Muchineripi Nhire, is seeking dismissal, citing insufficient evidence.

Regional Magistrate Innocent Bepura is set to decide whether the accused should present his defense. Complicating the case is the revelation that the accused’s wife, the complainant’s stepmother, was jailed for four years for her role in terminating the pregnancy resulting from the alleged rape.

This case has sent shockwaves through the Beitbridge community, highlighting not just the heinous nature of the alleged crime but also the desperate measures taken to conceal it. The disappearance of the key witness under suspicious circumstances has raised serious concerns about the safety of minors and the integrity of the judicial process in such sensitive cases.

As the search for the missing witness continues, the community and authorities alike are grappling with the unsettling reality of this case. It underscores the urgent need for stronger protective measures for vulnerable individuals, especially minors, in the legal system.

The Beitbridge rape case represents more than just a legal battle; it’s a grim reminder of the challenges faced in ensuring justice for victims of sexual violence. As the trial progresses, the absence of the key witness looms large, casting a shadow over the pursuit of truth and justice in this harrowing ordeal.

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