STARTLING details have emerged about how a grandmother of a 15-year-old Plumtree girl, who had been married off to a man in exchange for food and money, would take her to be sexually abused by the man for some mealie-meal.

This was revealed when the man, Melusi Ncube (31), appeared in court facing rape charges.

The girl’s grandparents were arrested earlier on.

The girl’s 50-year-old grandmother and 60-year-old grandfather from Brunapeg in Plumtree appeared in court on Monday charged with the contravening of section 94 (1) (b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 (pledging of a female person).

The minor had been left in her grandparents’ custody by her mother who works in Botswana.

Following their arrest, police pounced on Ncube, who works as a herd boy in Brunapeg, and charged him with rape.

Ncube appeared before Bulawayo Regional Court magistrate Collet Ncube on Wednesday and was remanded in custody to January 23 for trial.

It is the State’s case that Ncube reached an agreement with the girl’s grandmother in October 2012 to sexually abuse the girl for him to give them mealie-meal each time they ran out of food.

The grandmother would forcemarch the girl to Ncube’s place and leave her in his hut to be sexually abused before being given mealie-meal in return.

The State said Ncube would strip the girl, gag her mouth and then rape her while her grandmother stood guard outside.

The court heard that when the girl told her grandmother about the first rape, she just ignored her.

The girl later confided in her aunt after several rapes and the aunt then phoned her mother in Botswana and informed her about the abuse.

The mother returned and reported the matter to the police, leading to the arrest of the girl’s grandparents and later Ncube.

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