“She lied. I did not rape her, she was my girlfriend. I found her at the depot with another man and I took her to my place where we spent the night having sex,” insists Keamoitse Mongongoregi.
Standing outside Francistown Magistrate Court on Monday, his hands and feet shackled together, sweat dripping down his forehead, the 36-year-old Matsitama man cuts a forlorn figure.
Despite maintaining the act was consensual, Mongongoregi has just been sentenced to ten years imprisonment for rape.
The incident took place in Matsitama – a small village located roughly 100km west of Francistown – in June last year.
The convicted rapist was reportedly seen harassing his former lover, arming himself with stones and ordering her to accompany him to his place.
“They were no longer together and he had sex with her without her consent the whole night. The victim reported in the morning,” revealed a source, who wished to remain anonymous.
Before delivering sentence, Magistrate Taboka Mopipi noted Mongongoregi was a first-time offender with no previous convictions.
“Court will therefore take that in consideration and also look at the offence committed. Any person charged with rape shall upon conviction be sentenced to 10 years or maximum life in prison,” she declared, further adding there were no other extenuating circumstances to consider.
Magistarte Mopipi thus saw it fit to sentence the guilty man to a decade in the slammer, backdating the punishment to 12 June 2019 when Mongongoregi was originally incarcerated.
Standing outside court savouring the midday summer heat as he waited for the prison van to transport him to his new home, Mongongoregi asked for coins to buy a cigarette.
“I am stressed when I think of 10 years. I am going to appeal,” he told The Voice, his light skin pale with shock.
“I did not rape that girl, she was my girlfriend. I found her with another man at the depot and I took her to my place where we spent the night,” he repeated.
“The following day the police officers came looking for me saying I raped her,” Mongongoregi continued, shaking his head at the memory.
It was at that point in his narrative that the cops came looking for him again, bundling the condemned man into the back of the van and whisking him away to prison.
Barring a successful appeal, he will next breathe free air in 2029.