Psychiatric report clears man of mental illness

Cathrine Moemedi
ACCUSED: Alfred Khohliwe

A Francistown man who allegedly tried to burn a woman alive shortly after his release from a psychiatric hospital has been found to be mentally fit to stand trial.

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Alfred Khohliwe, 41, is charged with attempted murder and rape. He is accused of setting his female friend on fire on March 6th, after tying a towel around her waist. He is also accused of raping the same woman on February 14th.

The victim, whose identity cannot be revealed, has suffered second and third degree burns on her genital area and head injuries.

She has undergone two major surgeries and remains hospitalized seven months later.

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A psychiatric report filed before the court has revealed that Khohliwe does not suffer from any mental illness but rather alcohol abuse.

It also suggests that he was likely to have been under the influence of alcohol at the time of the alleged offences.

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The state prosecutor, Vanessa Leshiba, told the court that they were still waiting for the medical report of the victim, as it was difficult to obtain since she had been transferred to several hospitals in Gaborone.

She said that they expected to receive the report from Princess Marina Referral Hospital in two to three weeks.

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Khohliwe, who has been remanded in custody since his arrest in March, has been denied bail twice and is awaiting the outcome of his third bail application.

The magistrate, Keneilwe Kgoadi, dismissed his first bail application, saying that he had a strong incentive to flee due to the seriousness of the charges against him.

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She said that the offence of rape could attract a minimum sentence of 15 years, while for attempted murder he could face life imprisonment.

She also said that he deserved to be placed in a mental institution where he could be evaluated and his report could guide the court on how to proceed with the matter.

The defence attorney argued that his client was gainfully employed and that being in custody would render him jobless.

He also said that Khohliwe was responsible for his school-going child and his elderly mother.

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