Far reaching damage of rape

Cathrine Moemedi
Far reaching damage of rape

Teenager suffers from rape trauma, accused released on bail.

A 19 year old school girl who was raped by two men over the past holidays is reportedly struggling with post-traumatic disorder, a debilitating psychiatric disorder that is causing her to be afraid to come close to people including her parents.

This was revealed this past Friday when her alleged assailants, Kemofilwe Keokilwe, 21, and Ompolokile Tshekelo, 25, appeared before Maun Magistrate court for their bail hearing.

In trying to motivate the court to deny the duo bail, Police Investigation officer (IO), Rhuka Dinyando, explained to court that the two men stay in the same locality as the girl, and if she happens to see them in the streets, it could trigger her already fragile mental condition.

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“The victim is suffering from a lot of trauma and in need of counselling. She runs away from people, even her parents, we were also told that she has nightmares. The suspects stay in the same locality and seeing these two at this moment will only trigger her,” warned Dinyando.

Further Dinyando noted that the two men were a flight risk as they went into hiding immediately after the said offence, giving police a hard time to locate them.

“It was difficult for us to arrest them. We left numerous messages with their families for them to report themselves. Neither of them showed up. We arrested Keokilwe in another ward where he was hiding while Tshekelo was arrested in Nxaraga. He had fled from a stock theft offence,” motivated Dinyando, who further explained that Tshekelo has a pending case of stock theft in which he is accused of stealing a donkey while Keokilwe has an outstanding case of grievous harm.

The two men are said to have attacked the girl in Moeti ward around 19:45hrs on 29 March 2024, when she was waiting for a taxi, She was going to visit her mother.

Reportedly armed with a knife, the duo is said to have dragged the terrified teen to a nearby abandoned house, where they took turns to sexually assault her.

After the assault, they allegedly took off with her school laptop valued a P3, 000, cellphone and charger worth P500 and P30 cash.

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Nonetheless Magistrate Gofaone Mosweu did not see reason to remand the two in custody and granted them bail on P2000 surety each.

Mosweu rubbished prosecution’ reasons that the two were a flight risk as baseless and without proof.

“The Investigating Officer view that you two are a flight risk, however during Cross examination you revealed that you were arrested while on your way to hand yourselves over. There’s no evidence to prove that you evaded arrest,” said Mosweu.

According to Mosweu the fact that the two are suspects in other matters is not enough reason to deny accused persons bail especially when the said offenses are yet to be registered.

“The accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The two accused persons are still suspected to have committed the offenses and have not yet been proven guilty, ” said Mosweu.

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With regard to the mental health of the survivor Mosweu noted that stringent measures would be put in place to safe guard it.

The two men were granted bail on condition that they bind themselves with a sum of P2000 and provide three Batswana sureties who will bind themselves with the like sum.

The duo are to report themselves at Maun police station fortnightly and have been sternly cautioned to stay away from the complainant and other prosecution witnesses.

The matter has been set for 4th June for status update.

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