Teen attempts suicide after harrowing rape ordeal

Cathrine Moemedi
ACCUSED: The suspected sodimiser

A 53-year-old Sehithwa man is currently behind bars, accused of forcing himself on his cousin’s 15-year-old daughter, allegedly dragging the sleeping child into the bush in the night and sodomising her.

The girl is said to have been so traumitised by the 26th January ordeal, that she later tried to commit suicide while being housed by Woman Against Rape in Maun.

She is currently back home waiting to be placed in a shelter in Gaborone.

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Applying for the suspect to remain locked away on remand when he appeared before Maun Magistrates’ Court this week, State Prosecutor, Kebigetswe Reid, said he should stay in prison until the girl is safely in the capital.

“We were to consider the bail issue today. However, we have been informed that the victim has been sent home from the shelter after she attempted suicide. She is currently waiting to be taken to Save Our Souls in Gaborone,” revealed Reid.

The prosecution told court the accused and his alleged victim stay in the same yard in Sehithwa, and as such releasing him would endanger the child.

The defence were quick to counter this, insisting it simply wasn’t true.

“I hear the concerns about the victim that she has to be taken to a shelter. The accused does not stay with her; he stays in Maun with his woman. Even on the day of the alleged offence, he was in Maun,” maintained the defence counsel, adding their client should be treated as innocent until proven guilty.

The suspect’s legal team further revealed their client intends to open an assault case against the police, accusing the cops of brutally beating him up after his arrest.

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Their efforts proved fruitless, however, Principal Magistrate, Gofaone Mosweu, ruled in favour of the prosecution, giving them time to take the child to a place of safety.

“Releasing the suspect will trigger the child as she is clearly sensitive considering the fact that she even attempted suicide,” noted Mosweu.

Facts of the case are that on Friday 26th January, the complainant went to bed with her siblings only to wake up in the bush with the alleged molester.

It is said that when the confused child asked what was happening, the man threatened to stab her with a knife, before ordering her to undress and raping her anally.

The child is said to have experienced pain around the anus and went to the clinic, where a nurse discovered what had happened and promptly reported her concerns to the police.

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The matter returns to court on 14th March for status update.

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