FRANCISTOWN: A 35-year-old soldier, who was recently convicted of raping his stepchild, has been granted bail pending appeal.
According to court records, the rape incidents happened in December 2013 at Area S Military Barracks and March 2014 in Mogoditshane.
Both the complainant and the recently convicted soldier cannot be named for ethical reasons. The soldier who is currently on interdiction was slapped with a 10-year jail term for the two counts of rape.
When granting the 35-year-old bail the acting principal magistrate Dumisani Basupi said that challenges facing the judicial services in Botswana have resulted in those who want to launch appeals getting documents and other court records later than anticipated.
For this reason, he said that it would not be justifiable for the lance corporal to continue languishing in jail while he is still waiting for relevant court records he needed to launch in his appeal.
Basupi was the substantive magistrate in the case but recently started a new job as Registrar and Master of the High Court in Lobatse. He was temporarily in Francistown last Friday in order to clear a backlog of some of the cases he presided over whilst he was the substantive principal magistrate.
The convicted rapist was ordered to pay P5,000 to secure his bail.
“You should also provide two citizen sureties each paying P2,500 and report to the Central Police Station (CPS) every Friday during normal working hours. You should also not leave Francistown without the knowledge and permission of the station commander (at CPS),” he said.
She said: “I decided to report the matter to my teacher after my stepfather raped me three times in succession”. She reported to her teacher that in the first instance, when she went to her stepfather’s house in preparation for their trip to Gaborone to see her mother, the stepfather took advantage of her the night before the trip.
She said the second incident took place in Ramotswa when the mother had gone to the hospital. However, the victim says she was hesitant to break the news to her mother fearing it could wreck her marriage.
She claimed another incident occurred in 2014 at the stepfather’s residence at the BDF camp’s Area S, when she had travelled there from Blue Town, to ask for relish after being sent by her aunt.
She said after the incident, the stepfather gave her P10 for transport back to Blue Town.
The complainant who was aged 11 at the time she was raped said it was during this year that she eventually mustered the courage to share her ordeal with her Guidance and Counselling teacher.
Attorney Kagiso Jani represents the stepfather while Chimbisani Sechele represents the prosecution.