Fire and blood

Christinah Motlhabane
DISTRESSED: Mahupela outside court

Man accused of stabbing lover’s face before burning down her hut

Reportedly fed-up with waiting for his girlfriend, a hot-headed 55-year-old Matsiloje man is said to have chased after her, stabbed her several times in the face and then torched her hut.

The unemployed suspect, Kenneth Mahupela cut a desolate figure as he appeared before Francistown Magistrate Court on Monday charged with unlawful wounding and arson.

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Almost a week earlier, at around 0100hrs on Tuesday morning, apparently enraged and drunk, Mahupela allegedly cut Lorato Keitumetse Seleka’s face apart, plunging a kitchen knife into the 35-year-old’s head, upper lip, nose and shoulder.

Reports suggest the pair had been out drinking in the village earlier in the evening. They returned to Seleka’s parents’ house, where she fetched her children and took them to sleep at her sister’s yard next door.

However, Maphupela became agitated at how long his lover was taking, his frustrations reportedly boiling over and sparking his alleged violent behavior.

With Seleka howling in agony, her face a crumpled, bloodied mess, the suspect is said to have returned to her house and set fire to her hut, which swiftly burnt to ashes.

He then fled the scene but, five days later, was tracked down by the boys in blue in Matsiloje.

Ensuring the accused was kept locked up, Prosecutor Chilume Mpena told court it was too soon to entertain talk of bail.

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“The accused person was only arrested on Saturday and the complainant is currently hospitalised at Nyangabgwe, we have not yet taken her statement,” said Mpena, adding it is possible the charges against Maphupela will change, depending on the injured lady’s condition.

The prosecutor further requested court set another date to allow him to avail the Investigating Officer, who was unable to attend the arraignment, to advance reasons why the accused should not be allowed to go free.

Showing barely a flicker of emotion, Maphupela was told he would remain behind bars until Thursday 14 April when court will decide if he should get bail or not.

His stoic demeanour slipped slightly, however, as he sat shackled outside court waiting to be transported back to prison.

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