An 18-year-old man from Cowdray Park suburb in Bulawayo has been arrested after he allegedly rap_ed a nine-year-old girl who was left under his uncle’s care.

The man – who cannot be named to protect the identity of the minor – allegedly rap_ed the minor several times and threatened to stab her with a knife that he kept in his room.

The victim, a court heard, was scared of telling her mother but she wrote a letter and left it on her bed.

The man appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Ms Sibonginkosi Mnkandla and pleaded guilty to ra_pe charges.

He was sentenced to a wholly suspended three years in jail on condition that he does not commit a similar offence in the next five years.

He was also ordered to go for counselling.

The prosecutor, Ms Concilia Ncube said sometime in January this year, the minor’s mother left her and her younger brother at their pastor’s house as she returned to South Africa.

In February, the minor and her younger brother were sleeping on the floor while the accused was sleeping on the bed.

The minor woke up screaming and her brother noticed the accused was sleeping next to her nak_ed and he immediately went back to his bed.

“On the following day, the boy ordered the minor’s younger brother to take a bath while he took the minor into his bedroom,” said Ms Ncube.

“He ordered the minor to sleep on the bed and rap_ed her once before threatening to stab her if she told anyone about the matter”.

The court heard that she once told her friend who told the accused about the matter and he assaulted her with a knobkerrie before threatening to kill her if she told anyone.

The accused continued to ra_pe the minor until August when the juvenile and her younger brother returned to their mother in South Africa.

A few days after she had arrived in South Africa, she wrote a letter and left it on top of the bed for her mother to see.

“When her mother saw the letter she asked her neighbour to talk to the minor before taking her to hospital,” said Ms Ncube.

She was taken to a hospital in South Africa and they were advised to report the matter to the Zimbabwean police.

The matter was reported at the Cowdray Park Police Station leading to the man’s arrest.

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