FRANCISTOWN: A 23-yeard-old man of Tonota betrayed the trust of his family by allegedly raping his four-year-old niece.
According to the charge sheet, the man who cannot be named for legal reasons, allegedly raped his niece on December 14, last year in Tonota.
When the accused appeared before Magistrate Chandapiwa Molefhi on Tuesday, Inspector Kenneth Edward applied for him to be further remanded in custody because investigations in the matter are still ongoing.
Edward added: “We also fear for the safety of the accused since the mother of the child, other family members and members of the public are still very angry about what the accused allegedly committed. The safety of the accused at this stage cannot be guaranteed if he is granted bail since he stays with the alleged victim in the same compound. The prosecution has brought the Investigations Officer (IO) Keneilwe Bayani to advance reasons why the accused should be further remanded in custody.”
The IO told the Court that the victim is a minor who is a niece to the accused.
“The victim and her mother are still traumatised by the alleged incident. We have enlisted the services of social workers to offer the complainant and her mother counselling. People who are very close to the accused, the victim and her mother and other
Bayani added: “Since the accused allegedly has another pending rape case that he committed prior to the current one, the public no longer trust the police and may take the law into their own hands if the accused is released on bail. We need to protect the alleged victim from the accused.”
Pleading for his freedom, the accused told the Court that if he is remanded in custody, his parents who are blind would suffer much because he is the only one who is taking care of them.
“Also, if I am incarcerated no one would take care of my parents’ livestock,” said the accused who could not even muster the courage of looking at the Magistrate and people in the gallery.
Magistrate Molefhi concurred with the prosecution and remanded the accused in custody until February 22 when he will appear in Court for status update.