Too dangerous to be free

Cathrine Moemedi

A Maun man accused of trying to burn a woman alive shortly after his release from a two-week stint in a psychiatric ward for allegedly raping the same woman has been denied bail.

Charged with attempted murder, Alfred Khohliwe, 41, is accused of dousing a female friend with a flammable substance and setting her alight on March 06th.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has since undergone two major surgeries but remains in a coma at Bokamoso Private Hospital and is yet to regain consciousness since the incident.

Khohliwe is also facing a single count of rape after reportedly forcing himself upon the same lady on Valentine’s Day, 14th February.

Requesting the suspect remain in custody, the investigating officer revealed Khohliwe had been confined to a psychiatric ward at Letsholathebe Hospital prior to the horrific, apparently unprovoked attack.

It is believed Khohliwe was encouraged to seek help for his mental state by his victim after he raped her.

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While he was hospitilised, the complainant also reported the accusation to the police but the cops were unable to question Khohliwe due to the strong medication the doctors had put him under.

Dismissing the accused’s bail application, Magistrate Keneilwe Kgoadi noted that considering the serious nature of the charges filed against him, Khohliwe has much incentive to flee if set free.

“The offence of rape could attract a minimum sentence of 15 years while for attempt to kill, he can possibly be sentenced to life imprisonment,” said Kgoadi.

“He deserves to be placed in a mental institution where he will be evaluated and his report to be filed to guide us how to proceed with this matter,” added the magistrate.

In their application, the defence attorney revealed his client is gainfully employed and being remanded in custody could render him jobless. He further told court Khohliwe was responsible for his school-going child and his elderly mother.

The matter has been ruled for Tuesday 18th April for status update.

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