Home » Judicial » Convicted Rapist in Daring Court Escape

A DARING rape convict outwitted careless prison guards and made good his escape from a Hwange court on Monday, moments after the magistrate adjourned proceedings to prepare his sentence.

Thirty-six-year-old former kombi driver, Professor Mpala, was convicted by magistrate Dambudzo Malunga for raping a mental patient aged 17 in 2012. He plied the Binga-Bulawayo route at the time he committed the offence.

After convicting him during Monday’s, the magistrate adjourned proceedings and went to her office to prepare the sentence.

Prison officers also left the court room, leaving Mpala, originally from Bulawayo, unattended.

Quick as a bunny, Mpala took aantage of the opportunity and simply walked out of the court in full view of an unsuspecting crowd.

Said a witness: “We saw him dressed in a black leather jacket as he left the court and entered the bush.”

When it was later discovered he was missing, desperate prison officers searched the nearby bush without any success.

Prosecutor, Bheki Tshabalala, immediately applied for a warrant for his arrest.

Seething, the magistrate rounded on prison officers, reminding them that Mpala had been convicted and that they were not supposed to leave him unattended.

She charged: “Didn’t you know I had convicted him and you know that people convicted of serious offences like rape and murder cannot be left unattended?”

Mpala, who was out of custody on bail, had denied rape, claiming he was in love with the girl when he invited her to his kombi and had sex with her on February 21, 2012.

Recounting the attack during the trial, prosecutor Tshabalala said: “The accused had parked his kombi near some shops as it was raining and the complainant emerged from a shop carrying a bag of mealie-meal.

“Mpala invited her to the vehicle and sent the other two passengers away to go and buy meat from a nearby butchery.

“After the other passengers were gone, he switched off lights in the kombi, grabbed the girl by her neck and pulled her to the back seat of the vehicle.”

The screaming girl could not deter Mpala who raped her once, the court heard. After the attack, he pushed her out of the vehicle after threatening her not to tell anyone.

The girl discovered she was pregnant in April of the same year and narrated her ordeal to her mother who reported the case to the police.

In his defence, Mpala claimed he was in a relationship with the girl that started a month before the day of the rape.

However, the magistrate said, at law, having sex with a mentally challenged person was regarded as rape because they could not consent.

Source : New Zimbabwe