AN Esigodini mine worker has been jailed for 20 years for raping a 15-year-old girl while a maid who assisted him to commit the offence has been jailed for 12 years.

The mineworker, Bhekisisa Nyoni (29), of Filabusi who is employed at a mine in Esigodini and the maid Sidanisile Ndlovu (38) of Bayethe Village pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape when they appeared before Gwanda regional magistrate, Mr Mark Dzira, but were convicted due to overwhelming evidence.

Nyoni was slapped with an effective 20- year-jail term while Ndlovu was sentenced 12 years imprisonment of which three years were suspended on condition that she does not commit a similar offence within the next five years.

Prosecuting, Mr Blessing Gundani said the juvenile and her young sister aged five years were left in Ndlovu’s custody for a month by their aunt.

During that time Ndlovu assisted Nyoni to rape the juvenile on two occasions.

“On a date unknown to the prosecutor but during the period extending from 1 June to 31 July 2018 the complainant and her younger sister aged five-years-old were left in the custody of Ndlovu who was employed as a maid at their neighbour’s home while their aunt who was pregnant went to Esigodini District Hospital to give birth.

“Ndlovu was assigned to look after the children during the day and to sleep with them at her workplace during the night. On the sixth day in the morning after their aunt had gone, Ndlovu told the two children that Nyoni was going to sleep over. At night the children found Nyoni together with Ndlovu in the kitchen hut and Ndlovu told them that they were going to sleep in the kitchen hut together with Nyoni,” he said.

Mr Gundani said Ndlovu left the kitchen hut leaving Nyoni and the children. She locked the door from outside.

He said during the night Nyoni sneaked into the complainant’s blankets and raped her while she was asleep.

He said the complainant woke up while Nyoni was raping her and when she tried to resist he threatened to assault her.

Mr Gundani said on the following morning, Ndlovu unlocked the kitchen door and Nyoni left.CHRONICLE