Mmegi Online :: I was violated – UB strike detainee
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Last Updated
Thursday 18 January 2018, 13:00 pm.
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I was violated – UB strike detainee

A University of Botswana (UB) student who was detained and charged for allegedly partaking in the recent strike and in the process stealing a ‘blue overall’ says she suffered abuse at the hands of the police.
By Mpho Mokwape Wed 15 Feb 2017, 16:46 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: I was violated – UB strike detainee








Kesaobaka Kemolatlhe, a second-year UB student who was given bail on Monday related her ordeal during an interview with Mmegi yesterday saying she was touched and striped without her consent.

Kemolatlhe, who narrated that she was born a male, but now identifies herself as a female was abused by the male police officers that could not believe she was a female and turned her into a laughing stock mocking her.

She related, “I got to the police station at Central and the lady who recorded our statement referred to me as ‘her’ without even asking questions.

Then the male officers came to take us to the holding cell, that’s where it all began as they wanted to take me to the male cells but I kept insisting that I was a female. He kept insisting until two female officers came and questioned him why he was doing that and that’s when he asked them to take me to the toilet and strip me,” she explained.

Kemolatlhe said when they got there, the officers started touching her breasts and stripped to check her private parts without her consent.

“I was powerless. I just stood there while they touched and violated me, and there was nothing I can do. We came out there and the officers confirmed that I was a ‘she’ and can be taken to the female cell,” she said.

She explained that the abuse about her gender had started at the University premises prior to her detention at the police station when she went there to collect her medication after the closure of the school.

“I went there after our arrival at the civic centre because I realised I forgot

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my medication. I went to the security officers by the main gate to seek permission who instead of helping started calling me derogatory names like ‘ke itira mosadi (I behave like a woman)’”.

I had to ignore them and went to the other gate where the officer there allowed me access into the school. After grabbing my medication I was met by the security agent who accused me of being part of the strike, looting the shop and stealing an overall,” she added.

Moreover on top of being allegedly sexually violated, Kemolatlhe said she was unable to take her medication since she was denied proper food despite making pleas that she was not allowed to take ‘starch’ due to medical reasons.

She noted that this landed her at the hospital as her sugar level went down and she had passed out.

Her lawyer, Kago Mokotedi, said they have already engaged the station commander on the matter and that they will be taking further instructions.

He explained that their intention was to engage human rights groups such as Ditshwanelo as they seek a way forward.

“This is a human rights issue hence we intend to engage human rights groups. As of now, we are still dealing with the matter and taking further instructions,” he said.

Central Police Station commander, Vincent Pitsietsile said he could not divulge much information since investigations are still ongoing.

He explained that the matter has been given to an investigation officer at the Urban Police Station since it needed an independent investigator.

“The allegations are within our station and we decided to engage a station that is not involved to deal with the matter independently,” he said. 

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Wed 15 Feb 2017, 18:00 pm
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