Suspected Women Rapists Charges Withdrawn

Sophie and Netsai Nhokwara, Rosemary Chakwizira and a male suspect, Thulani Ngwenya, were charged with indecent assault charges.

Prosecutor Tapiwa Kasema told the court of the state’s intention to withdraw charges before plea on Wednesday. He said the DNA results for blood samples extracted from the women and victims taken to South Africa for examination “exonerated” the women.

Harare regional magistrate Fadzai Mthombeni said: “The state is withdrawing charges for lack of evidence.”

Kasema said the state now preferred charges of loitering for purposes of prostitution against the women.

The trial of their new charges which was due on Wednesday was postponed after police failed to serve the women with court papers on time.

The Nhokwara sisters were now scheduled to go back to court on May 16 while Chakwizira will attend on May 10. It was not clear what would happen to the male driver, Ngwenya.

The women were suspected to be part of a syndicate of female “rapists” who went on a rampage along the country’s major highways, “raping” men at gunpoint.

The four were arrested at an accident scene on the 43-kilometre peg along the Gweru-Lower Gweru road, in October last year.

It is alleged the women had intended to get away with sperms belonging to Ngwenya who was driving the car. Police had already discovered during a random search of the vehicle, a plastic bag full of sperm-filled condoms, leading to the arrests of the women.

According to state papers, 17 men, including a soldier and a policeman claimed they were “raped” by the women.

The three women and Ngwenya hinted they intended to sue the State for the arrests, detention and false charges.