Caught in the act defence U-turns in rape plea case

Cathrine Moemedi

An 80-year-old pensioner of Sedie ward in Maun who is accused of raping his 12-year-old step daughter on three different occasions is looking to abandon his earlier plea of guilt.

His attorney, Charles Tlagae told court on Monday this week that the oldman has hearing and sight problems and tends to be very forgetful.

Tlagae contended that the man was therefore not fit to take a plea when he was asked to do so last year at the beginning of the trial.

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“We believe that the outcome of the evaluation confirms that our client was not fit to take plea. It has been noted in the report that he has a problem with the left ear and left eye and is also very forgetful,” explained Tlagae.

Tlagae took up the case last year when the oldman had already incriminated himself before court with his plea.

However desperate to change the direction of the case and safe the oldman from many years behind bars, the first thing Tlagae did was to ask for his client to be taken for psychiatric evaluation.

He did mention his suspicions that the oldman could be suffering from old age dementia.

“We received instructions very late, during consultation with the client I concluded that old age dementia might have caught up with him as he gave inconsistent answers and seems to be oblivious to what is happening in court,” said Tlagae.

According to the prosecutor Ambrosia Keipheditse, the old man is due for another evaluation on 27 June 2024; however the defense are adamant that the outcome will still be the same.

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The accused went for psychiatric evaluation on 19 April 2023. The doctor recommended that he be taken for evaluation after six months. He is set to be taken for evaluation in June,” noted Keipheditse.

The old man is facing three counts of rape.

According to the court papers the first incident happened in July 2019 when the accused, who cannot be named for the protection of the girl’s identity, allegedly dragged the child into his bedroom and forcefully had sexual intercourse with her upon her arrival from school.

The old man is said to have stopped when his wife arrived from work and he ordered the girl not to tell her what had transpired.

The second incident is alleged to have happened between May and June 2020 but was abruptly interrupted by the girl’s friend who came around looking for her.

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Meanwhile, the last incident is said to have happened on 17 October, 2020 when the old man instructed the young girl to bring her school shirt over to his house.

Upon arrival the pensioner allegedly followed the girl into the house and uttered the words “ ke batla go robala le
wena” which translates to, “ I want to sleep with you”.

The old man reportedly undressed the girl and had sexual intercourse despite her threatening to report to her mother.

Whilst in the act, the old man’s brother and nephew are said to have arrived, knocked at the door and when no one answered they peeped through the window and saw him raping the child.

It is said that when he finally opened the door, the old man denied knowing the whereabouts of the girl when they asked him, nonetheless, the young girl allegedly came out of the house covering her naked body with a blanket.

The relatives are said to have resorted to informing the girl’s sister who then reported the matter to the police.

The case has been set for 27 August for status update.

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