A young Bulawayo couple has been arraigned for allegedly working as team to rape two people, rob seven at knife point and steal 600 metres of TelOne copper cable.
Nobubelo Winnie Moyo (21) and Tinotenda Mdala (19), both of Cowdray Park suburb, appeared before Western Commonage magistrate Mr Lungile Ncube charged with five counts of robbery and a charge of stealing copper cables.
Mdala is also facing a charge of two counts of rape.
The offences, reminiscent of the famous American gangster couple Bonnie and Clyde’s crime spree between 1931 and 1935, were allegedly committed between October 2016 and January 2017.
Moyo, who is suspected to have masterminded the crimes, denied all charges while her husband pleaded guilty to robbery and copper cable theft.
Magistrate Ncube remanded the duo in custody to March 9.
For the robbery cases, Prosecutor Mr Mufaro Mageza said Moyo would lure desperate job seekers by impersonating an agent from a local maid recruitment agency.
She would pretend to take the victims to a prospective employer and Mdala would attack them in bushy areas.
On the first count, Mdala allegedly raped a 48-year-old woman, whose name has been withheld for ethical reasons, in a bushy area in Pumula suburb.
With the help of his girlfriend, Mdala allegedly used a stolen phone and pretended to be the complainant’s friend.The prosecutor said: “On January 28, 2017, the complainant received a message from the accused person who pretended to be her friend Bongani. The complainant responded and asked for mealie meal from Bongani and they arranged to meet at Pumula High School turn off.”
Upon arrival, the complainant did not see her friend but Mdala allegedly met her and claimed Bongani had sent him.
He suggested that they use a foot path to go and collect the mealie meal.
Mr Mageza said Mdala raped the complainant once without protection in a secluded bushy area along the way after strangling her and threatening to shoot her if she resisted.
Mdala denied raping the woman and said he had only robbed her of money and a cellphone.
On the second rape count, the accused person connived with his wife to pretend that there was somebody who needed a maid.
“On January 17 at around 6AM, the accused person sent a message to the complainant to confirm if she was coming into the city centre. When the complainant arrived at Renkini Bus terminus, the accused person told her that she was sending her son to fetch her, said Mr Mageza.
“Mdala met the complainant and they boarded a kombi to Pumula suburb together. When they disembarked it was raining.
“As they walked through a bush behind Pumula High School, the accused person throttled the woman, pushed her to the ground and drew an Okapi knife. He took off her clothes and raped her once without protection”.
Five other people; Patience Khumalo, Sithabile Sibanda, Sisasenkosi Dube, Janet Shumba, and Sikhathele Ndlovu are said to be the couple’s other robbery victims.
They are expected to testify when the case continues on March 9. The copper cable theft trial is scheduled for Monday. The couple is being jointly charged with Welcome Sibanda (19). He and Mdala will answer to a charge of stealing 600 metres of copper cables which the State valued at $3000.