FRANCISTOWN: The mother of a young girl who was sexually molested by her cousin at Riverside location in 2013 has pleaded with the court to forgive the perpetrator.
The paedophile, now aged 22, who is a resident of Riverside, was recently convicted of raping his then five-year-old niece also at their family compound in 2013. He is now in jail pending a sentence that will be delivered on Friday. Senior Magistrate Thebeetsile Mulalu had summoned the victim’s mother before court in order to get first hand information of how the accused and the victim’s mother relate.
Said Mulalu: “The accused stands convicted of one count of rape stemming from a case that you testified in. Before I pass an appropriate sentence, I found it fit to call you so that you can tell this court how you relate since he was charged with this offence. You used to or may probably be staying together in the same compound because he is the son of your elder sister.”
In response the victim’s mother said: “I think he should be forgiven. He is also my son because his mother is my elder sister. He is still young and can turn a new chapter in his life. Sending him to jail will destroy him because he has some things that he is doing in life. We have been having a healthy relationship despite what he has done to my
Asked by Mulalu if there have been any reconciliation efforts that were carried out after the harrowing ordeal, she said: “Yes we met as a family and it was decided that I should forgive him.”
During his turn to respond to what his aunt said, the accused thanked her for forgiving him despite what he had done, but Mulalu chimed in telling him (the accused) that the court has not forgiven him. It, however, became clear that the victim’s mother was telling the court a totally different testimony from what she said when she testified during trial.
During her examination-in-chief, she told the court that her elder sister chased her away from the family compound after she reported the matter to the police.
But when passing judgement, Mulalu said he found the victim’s mother as a credible witness who harboured no ill-motives against the accused. “To me, the complainant’s mother is a truthful and candid witness who haboured no ill motives against the accused even though they were not in good terms.
In my view, the accused dismally failed to state why he said the victim’s mother wished him bad things in life when given the opportunity to cross examine her,” said Mulalu.
Mothusi Meshack prosecuted in the case.