Mechanic’s painful breakdown

CENTRE OF ATTRACTION: Monkgelawabo

A 28-year-old mechanic suffered a mini breakdown in court last Monday when he was told that forcibly pulling his ‘girlfriend’ out of a car is classified as physical assault.

For his hot-headedness, Mobibedi Ipolokeng was sentenced to four lashes on the bare buttocks.

Having originally been reluctant to take his medicine, Ipolokeng had a swift change of heart when he was told it was either the whip or prison.

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Appearing before Maun Customary Court this week, the mechanic told of how he lost his cool after finding Olebogeng Monkgelawabo, whom he insists was his girlfriend even though she maintains she was not, sitting in another man’s combi at night.

“We were very much in love and both our parents knew about it. At home, they knew about her and I was known at her house as her boyfriend; she only told me that she no longer wants to be with me after I caught her with that other man,” stated an emotional Ipolokeng, who is self-employed and works in the tourist town’s Thito ward.

He revealed he was already suspicious that Monkgelawabo, 30, was cheating on him, his suspicions coming to a head on 7th June.

“I had asked her about this other man before and she said there was nothing going on between them and that he was her cousin but the other time she said he was only her friend,” Ipolokeng alleged, adding he became furious when he found her parked up outside her home with his perceived love rival.

“I have previously warned her from seeing that man so when I found her with him, I pulled her out of the vehicle,” continued the suspect.

Despite being told that by doing so, he was committing assault, Ipolokeng claimed ignorance, adding that as far as he was aware, assault involved beating, punching or hitting a person.

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“But if the law says pulling someone by hand even when you don’t use violence is a crime, then I am guilty as charged,” he concluded.

However, insisting the suspect did far more than just pull her, Monkgelawabo labelled Ipolokelng an obsessed stalker.

She informed court that prior to the attack, Ipolokeng wanted to date her, but she turned him down on condition he stops drinking alcohol and becomes a born again Christian.

“I told him I cannot have a love affair with someone who drinks alcohol and takes intoxicants. I told him if he changes his behaviour then I might consider giving him a chance.”

Although she admitted Ipolokeng started going to church with her, the complainant said she soon realised this was purely to win her over and not because of any religious conviction.

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“I told him I cannot accept his love proposal and he started stalking me. He first confronted the other man who then told him if it was me he was looking for then he should talk to me not him and that he should not touch his car. He, however, went to the passenger seat, flung the door open and pulled me out, slapped me and hit me with a fist on the head.”

Monkgelawabo added he then pulled her into the darkness of the night and continued beating her. She reported the matter to Maun police the next morning.

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