“Evidence is that the victim was orphaned and lived with [a relative] in KwaDukuza in KwaZulu-Natal,
“[The relative] gave her up to her Sunday school teacher who was friends with Nomvo, the sister of the would-be husband. Nomvo took her to her daughter who lived in Mbizana in the Eastern Cape, where Bheki, who worked in Gqeberha, comes from,” said Tyali.
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The report said Bheki, with the assistance of Nomvo, initiated lobola negotiations and payments were made in 2016.
The South African reported that on arrival in Gqeberha, Bheki took the teen to his house where he allegedly strangled and raped the girl.
The report said that the teenager was made to dress in newly married woman’s (makoti) traditional attire and lived at Bheki’s homestead where she worked as a new bride.
She managed to escape after the matter was reported to the police in April 2017 and the suspect was arrested, the report said.
“During the trial, all the accused claimed that they were not aware of the girl’s age when they entered her into a customary marriage and were not aware that they were acting unlawfully,” the report quoted Tyali as saying.
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Picture: Facebook/ South African Police Service
Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe