Convicted rapist awaits appeal decision

Convicted rapist Ofentse Mofokeng will tomorrow know whether or not he can challenge his 10-year jail sentence when the Court of Appeal (CoA) rules on his application for leave to appeal.

Mofokeng, who was convicted and sentenced by Lobatse Magistrates’ court in 2013, for a single count of rape, has instituted a direct plea to the CoA requesting the judges to entertain his appeal.

This is not the first time Mofokeng has made such a plea.  According to documents before court, he made an application for  appeal at Lobatse High Court, which was dismissed by Judge Mercy Garekwe.

He later made another application before the same judge seeking leave to appeal at the CoA, which was also dismissed on reasons that it (application) did not show any reasonable prospects of success.


Appearing in person, Mofokeng told the court he is appealing his conviction, as he felt hard done by the trial judge.

“I felt really aggrieved by the conviction because the trial magistrate did not consider certain elements during the trial and went on to convict me on unbalanced evidence,” he said.

Mofokeng premised his arguments on the basis that the first witness who was the complainant, failed to take oath before giving evidence during the trial.

“The first witness failed to take an oath before giving evidence and therefore her testimony must be thrown out, as it is inadmissible, that she was not a credible and reliable witness, and as a result, her version of events needed corroboration,” he said.

He explained that he felt unfairly treated by the trial court, as they curtailed his rights by failing to provide him with a record of proceedings, more so that he had no legal advice.

He also said that his conviction and sentence was improper and could not stand, especially that the complainant was his girlfriend who consented to sexual intercourse after a night of partying.

“She was my girlfriend, she only had injuries because we had fought on that night.

“The only reason she said I raped her was because she was two-timing me and was only afraid that her other boyfriend would find out. She lied.

We agreed on sexual intercourse even though we had earlier fought,” he said.Countering his submissions, state attorney Mmapatsi Tshimologo said the court should not entertain his application because he was not prejudiced at any stage of the trial.

He said according to the documents of the trial court, the presiding officer’s hand-written record show that the witness was sworn in, in Setswana though it was omitted in the typed statements.

“The witness took oath. It therefore makes sense why the court then explained to the applicant the purpose of cross-examination and allowed him, if he wished to cross examine the said witness,” he said.

Tshimologo explained that the accused had declined to cross-examine the complainant after she told court that she did not consent to sexual intercourse, which was coupled by violence.

“The medical report was submitted, which supported the witness’s version of events, which was that she was assaulted at the time of the alleged rape. The report showed evidence of injuries consistent with an assault,” he said.

He also submitted that since the applicant opines that the sentence meted out should not stand since the evidence led was inadmissible, as the state they had shown that there was nothing questionable and consequently the sentence should stick.

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