Relatives of a Beitbridge man accused of raping his 13-year-old daughter reportedly engineered the disappearance of the victim’s sister, who is one of the key witnesses to the ongoing case at the Beitbridge Regional Court.

The same witness, a minor as well, is also suspected to be pregnant and may have been made to disappear to conceal a related crime and also to weaken the case.

The investigating officer Constable Allan Kurado told the court last week that he left the witness at Takalani Children’s Home for safe-keeping, but she went missing from the home.

“I went back and heard the witness scaled over the wall and disappeared. I also heard during my investigations that she may have been assisted by people who were outside,” Kurado told the court.

“At a later stage some workers at the home informed me that some relatives of the same witness who is the accused’s daughter took her clothes after she had disappeared. After that we filed a missing person report from the children’s home. We are still to find the witness and investigations are ongoing,” said Kurado, adding that prior to her disappearance the witness told him she was pregnant.

The complainant recently informed the court that she once told the missing witness that their dad was raping her.

After the missing girl doubted the complainant, the complainant and her now missing sister swapped sleeping places and the father is alleged to have come one night and touched the complainant’s sister, discovered that it was not the complainant and went out of the room.

The complainant in the case told the court that his father raped her for ritual purposes.

Tsitsi Mutukwa, prosecuting, closed the State case and the accused’s lawyer Muchineripi Nhire said he was applying for discharge at the close of the State case, citing lack of evidence.

Regional Magistrate Innocent Bepura is expected to rule on whether or not the accused should be put to his defence.

The man, a well-known cross-border transporter in Beitbridge is accused of raping his 16-year-old daughter several times over three years. He is, however, denying the charge despite his wife admitting she helped to terminate the child’s pregnancy which was a result of the rape.

The accused’s wife, a stepmother to the complainant, was jailed for four years for her part in helping to administer tablets allegedly to abort the complainant’s pregnancy.