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INYANGA ARRESTED FOR RAPE OF MINOR

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MANZINI - After cleansing and treating her for chest pains, a popular traditional healer is alleged to have unlawfully engaged in sexual intercourse with a minor (16) inside his consultation room (indumba).


After investigations, the traditional healer, Sibusiso Nhlonipho Tsabedze (42) of Ngculwini, was arrested and police investigations revealed that he had indeed sexually assaulted the scholar while performing healing rituals.


In her statement,*Zethu revealed that she started experiencing severe chest pains in May 2018 and that her parents took her to different hospitals and pastors so they could pray for her, however she could not get any assistance.


“Instead, my condition worsened to a point where I would skip classes, especially during the month of September. My mother returned home and informed me that she had reported my condition to Babe Tsabedze, a popular local traditional healer in the area, and I had to go and consult with him.


Consultation


“Indeed I went to his place with two of my siblings, and upon arrival, we entered his consultation room (indumba). However, he ordered us to go out so he could speak to us one by one,” she alleged.
The minor submitted that she was the last to enter the room and that she was told that someone had bewitched her.


She added that Tsabedze requested for her cellphone number and informed her that she needed to be cleansed through the use of milk and Coke.
Zethu also mentioned that since she did not have a cellphone, she gave the accused person her mother’s numbers.


“He then gave me concoctions and ordered me to smoke them. He further instructed me to undress myself and ordered that I stand in front of him, naked. I did just that and he placed a stick with a black substance on my breasts and below my stomach. “He then asked me to leave the room and return with the milk and Coke so I could steam (kufutsa). After one week, I returned to his consultation room as he had ordered, and upon arrival he ordered me to go and throw up and ordered my sister out as well,” Zethu revealed.


The complainant further revealed that while inside the room, the accused told her that he was in love with her and wanted to marry her, however, she refused to entertain him and informed him that she was still concentrating on her education.


“He then came closer and ordered me to kiss him. He again ordered me to undress, I was scared as I had been informed that he dealt with people who rejected his love proposals. He then had unlawful sexual intercourse with me and gave me E250 and ordered me to go and buy underwear.


“I went to buy the underwear and returned to him as he had said he wanted to perform rituals on them inside his indumba. He later instructed me to wear them and told me to tell my parents that he had a dream of me becoming a sangoma,” Zethu said.


Promise


She also mentioned that besides having sexual intercourse with the accused person several times, he had allegedly ordered her to make a promise that she would love him forever by taking a white piece of cloth and making a cross and line, further saying some words usually used by people who are in love.


According to the girl, the words she was allegedly ordered to say were; “Siyohlukaniswa kufa tsine sobabili, nyalo sowungumfati waka Tsabedze, utopheka uze uphekele netimphaka talakhaya kanye nebantfwabakho,” which means, ‘We will be together till death do us part, now you are a wife in the Tsabedze household, you will cook for everyone including your children’.


“He said I should repeat these words. I then made a cross on the piece of white clothing and spent the night at Tsabedze’s place. 
“When I got home in the morning, my father severely assaulted me and asked me where I had spent the night. I escaped to Tsabedze’s home, reported the assault and he told my parents that he loved me,” Zethu alleged.


Intervention


Information gathered is that the girl ended up staying at the accused person’s home, despite her parent’s intervention and this made them decide to report the matter to the Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA) and the police.


The complainant was eventually rescued by the police and her parents who took her to the Raleigh Fitkin Memorial (RFM) Hospital where she was examined and treated.


 Meanwhile, the accused person was arrested and charged with contravening the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Act.
His charge sheet states that between the months of October and November 2018 at Ngculwini-Logwazela, he had unlawful sexual intercourse with Zethu (16), who in law is incapable of consenting to sexual intercourse.


The accused person yesterday made a court appearance before Magistrate Nelisiwe Hlophe and informed the court that he would seek the services of an attorney.


The prosecutor informed the court that the attorney had liaised with her and said he would only be available during the suspect’s next court appearance.
The accused person was remanded in custody until January 16, 2019 pending the setting of his trial date.

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