A textbook dispute reveals a family’s five-year-old rape secret

The girl told her friend that when she was in Grade 2, her cousin raped her.

An argument over a textbook between a 13-year-old rape victim and a classmate has inadvertently revealed a rape incident that a Bulawayo family had kept hidden.

Thamsanqa Nsingo, 20, of Bulawayo’s Nkulumane suburb, was sentenced to six years in prison after being convicted of raping his then-eight-year-old cousin in 2015.

Nsingo was 15 years old at the time of the crime.

During the trial, the court heard that on April 21, 2018, the complainant was playing with her male cousins in one of the bedrooms of her Nkulumane home.

She got into the blankets and was followed by Nsingo, who went on to undress and rape her.

One of the cousins who witnessed the incident reported it to Nsingo’s father.

Nsingo was beaten with a belt as a form of discipline by his father before the case was talked about and resolved within the family.

Court heard that in December last year, the girl confided in her friend that she was once raped by her cousin when she was in Grade 2.

The crime fortuitously came to light when the girl was involved in an argument with her friend who, in an apparent attempt to spite her, revealed the now teenager was once raped.

The class teacher referred the case to the school’s guidance and counselling teacher, who proceeded to report the matter to the police.

In his ruling, Magistrate Mabeza said Nsingo had committed a bad crime.

In reaching sentence, Mabeza said he put into consideration that Nsingo was a first-time offender who had aided the administration of justice by pleading guilty to the crime.

He also took into considering that Nsingo committed the crime while still younger and immature, hence prone to peer pressure.

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