A friend of mine brought an article from New Zimbabwe to my attention recently. I was generally very confused when I read it. Apparently a man from Nyamandlovu, who was accused of statutory rape, was granted bail out of sympathy by the magistrate hearing his bail application, despite the fact that bail is not often given to those accused of statutory rape. The reason the magistrate was so sympathetic towards the accused? He’d had an erection for 12 days straight. Or “a throbbing 12-day-old boner” as New Zimbabwe so very subtly put it. Seriously.
The 25 year old man claimed that he’d had an erection ever since he’d had sex with a 15 year old girl on 13 July. Although the sex appears to have been consensual, the accused is convinced that someone put a curse on him because he slept with the girl, as he’d never suffered like that before having had sex with the girl. He told Magistrate Godwin Sengweni this, while covering his crotch with one hand, and Sengweni must have felt a mixture of bewilderment, disbelief and, well, sympathy, as he listened to this weird story. It must have been, without a doubt, the strangest bail application he’s ever presided over.
In his application for bail, the accused did not rely on the usual grounds that, in the circumstances, justice warranted that he be granted bail for whatever reasons he could come up with, but instead claimed that he was desperate to seek traditional remedies for his “condition” and needed to be granted bail in order to do this. The prosecutor, Goodluck Katenaire, said that the state was not opposing the accused’s application for bail… “from a humanitarian point of view”. Katenaire obviously reckoned that justice in the circumstances demanded that the accused get some serious help ASAP. The magistrate clearly agreed and the accused was bailed and ordered to appear again on August 15.
Now, maybe I’m just a hater, but is it really possible to have an erection for 12 days straight? Or do you reckon that it was just a ploy by the accused to secure bail in circumstances that he otherwise would probably not have got bail? Eish, sometimes the legal system in Zimbabwe just makes me weak.