Female rape suspects get death threats
Harare - Three Zimbabwean women charged with attacking male hitchhikers to collect semen for rituals have received death threats, their lawyers told a Harare court on Tuesday.
"We have indicated that they have received death threats. Every time they appear in a public place, they are assaulted, insulted and mocked by people," defence lawyer Dumisani Mthombeni told the court during a pre-trial hearing.
"Any public appearance they make is an opportunity for those who have been threatening them to pounce on them. Heaven knows what may happen to them," Mthombeni said.
Sisters Sophie and Netsai Nhokwara, 26 and 24, and Rosemary Chakwizira, 28, were arrested early in October and charged with committing a string of sexual attacks on men.
Thulani Ngwenya, 24, a boyfriend to one of the women, was also charged.
The four are out on $300 bail each and they surrendered their passports. Their trial date has been set for January 26.
The women are accused of spraying an anaesthetic on a 19-year-old hitchhiker after giving him a lift in March.
On August 22, they gave a soldier a lift and forced him to have unprotected sex with them after threatening to shoot him, the court heard last month.
In another case, the trio are said to have stopped next to a police constable, dragged him into their car after pretending to ask for directions and forced him to have sex with them.
The women allegedly used different cars to pick up 14 other men and forced themselves on them. They were arrested when they were involved in a car accident, and police found 31 used condoms in the boot of their car.