GIRL,10, BREAKS DOWN IN COURT AS SHE CONFRONTS HER TORMENTOR
Two years after her rape ordeal a 10-year-old girl broke down in tears as the man accused of the attack started cross-examining her in court.
Court proceedings were adjourned as a social worker rushed to console the overwhelmed child who was forced to confront her 67-year-old assailant at the Francistown Magistrate’s court last week.
As the traumatised youngster was led away, the man accused of raping her, Kemoiponetse Olebile calmly puffed on a cigarette during the break.
The young girl had earlier walked confidently into the courtroom in the company of the assistant prosecutor to give her testimony.
She informed the court that she did not attended school and had never attended. Asked why, she could not give a specific answer.
In graphic detail she then told how a trusted neighbour and a man she called ‘grandfather’ had sexually abused her after her mother had sent her to his place to ask for baking yeast.
When she arrived Olebile was drinking tea whilst his daughters were busy with domestic chores.
After she had been given the yeast and left for home, the old man told his children that he was also leaving to round up his donkeys. He was walking just behind the young girl, the court heard.
While on the way the girl told how she was grabbed by the hand and dragged into the nearby bush where Olebile pushed her to the ground and forced himself upon her.
After finishing her testimony the accused asked in cross-examination, “Are you saying that I choked you?”
Looking at the man for the first time during the proceedings, and with her lips trembling, the young girl replied in Setswana: “Yes, you even threatened to beat me to the pulp if I was to resist your advances.”
As her face creased in anxiety and the tears that had been forming in her eyes overflowed, Chief Magistrate Kgololesgo Segabo brought the hearing to a halt.
After the adjournment, Olebile did not continue with the cross-examination.
He argued that he did not rape the young girl maintaining that the sexual act between them was consensual.
The case continues on 22 March.