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Court upholds businessman's rape conviction

LEBOGANG MOSIKARE
FRANCISTOWN: The Francistown High Court today found a Maun-based businessman, Luke Khumoemang, guilty of the rape of his landlord’s daughter in 2016, inevitably upholding an earlier conviction and sentence by the Magistrate's Court.

The Magistrate’s Court had initially sentenced Khumoemang to 10 years in jail for the rape of a minor.

He was appealing the case and lost.  The rape incident he was found guilty of happened at Sowa Town where Khumoemang was given accommodation by the complainant’s mother while he was doing some construction work for the Sowa Town Council.

Although Khumoemang was only convicted and sentenced for one count of rape, Justice Matlhogonolo Phuthego said that it was unclear why the prosecution only charged him with one count of rape while evidence shows that he raped the victim on three separate occasions and dates.

Evidence before court showed that Khumoemang raped the 13-year-old primary school-going child on two occasions while her mother had left for work in the morning and once during the weekend.

In the first occasion, he raped the minor after telling her to go and clean his bedroom while he went to the bathroom to take a bath.

The court heard that after Khumoemang finished bathing, he went back to his bedroom and then raped the child and thereafter threatened to kill her if she disclosed what had happened to anyone. 

In the two rape incidents, the minor absconded from attending school after Khumoemang sexually violated her.

Khumoemang, the court heard,

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gave the minor a bandage to put on her leg and instructed her to tell anyone at school that asked her what happened to her that she was bitten by a snake.

On one of the occasions before Khumoemang was discovered, the victim’s classmates went to her home to check on her, but she told them that a snake bit her hence why she had failed to attend school.

The visit by the victim’s classmates led to the victim’s mother going to her school to enquire if indeed her child had not attended school as usual.

The victim later told her Guidance and Counselling teacher that Khumoemang was in the habit of sexually abusing her, which led to his arrest in Maun.

During trial at the Magistrate Court, Khumoemang opted to remain silent and was subsequently given 10 years in the slammer.

When delivering his verdict, Phuthego said that he endorsed the conviction and sentence passed by the Magistrate’s Court.

“The appellant’s appeal is dismissed. This court upholds the ruling of the Magistrate’s Court. The appellant is advised to appeal at the Court of Appeal (CoA) in six weeks from now after making an application before this court if he has prospects of success before the CoA,” Phuthego said.



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