Zimbabwe

Suspected Zim women rapists freed

2012-05-03 12:44

Harare - Prosecutors have dropped charges against three Zimbabwean women accused of raping male hitch-hikers to collect semen for rituals, after DNA evidence exonerated them, their lawyer said on Thursday.

"The state has withdrawn the charges," Dumisani Mthombeni told AFP.

"The police arrested the wrong people. We have always been saying that and the prosecution was buying time to delay the trial because they knew they lacked any evidence."

Sophie and Netsai Nhokwara, sisters aged 26 and 24, and Rosemary Chakwizira, 28, were arrested in October after police found 31 used condoms in the boot of their car amid a string of forced sexual assaults on men that were first reported three years ago.

The three women were charged along with Thulani Ngwenya, a boyfriend of one of them.

The women were accused of forcing themselves on 17 men. They were arrested after they were involved in a car accident, when police found the used condoms.

The results of DNA exams on the women and the alleged victims exonerated the women, the lawyer said.

Mthombeni said the state has decided to prosecute Netsai Nkokwara and Chakwizira on a lesser charge of "loitering for the purposes of prostitution", punishable by a fine.

Reports of women rapists have persisted across Zimbabwe, even after the arrests of the three women.

State media in January reported two separate incidents of men being forced by two women at gun- and knife-point to have sex.

Mthombeni said his clients are planning to sue the police for "unlawful" arrests and the parading of the women on national television as "female rapists".

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
X

SHARE:

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
10 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.