DNA exonerates 'incestuous' father’s paternity

DNA exonerates 'incestuous' father’s paternity
DNA exonerates 'incestuous' father’s paternity

FRANCISTOWN: A man initially arraigned on a charge of incest has discovered that the complainant in the matter whom he thought was his biological daughter is, in fact, not following results from a DNA test.

The 41-year-old man of Block 4, who cannot be named for legal and ethical reasons, allegedly had sexual intercourse with his 11-year-old daughter between June 2020 and July 2021 at her mother's residence in Block 2. According to the man’s girlfriend and mother to the complainant, she caught him on top of her daughter having sex with the minor. The mother was allegedly woken by noises in her bedroom where she was in for a rude awakening from the sight of her boyfriend having sex with her daughter.

Updating the court on the status of the matter yesterday (Tuesday), sub-inspector Cecilia Nchochi told Magistrate Mareledi Dipate that the initial charge of incest cannot be sustained given the twist of events regarding the paternity of the complainant. She said this is because the DNA tests performed on the man and the complainant have determined that he is not the minor's natural father. Nchochi thereafter made an application for the amendment on the charge sheet to be adjusted from the offence of incest to rape.

The accused did not object to the amendment nor did he comment on the change of circumstances regarding paternity throughout his appearance in court following the police forensic laboratory results. The accused thereafter pleaded not guilty to the adjusted charge of rape. Still, the case against the accused is akin to jumping out of the frying pan into the fire as he is yet to prove his innocence against the rape charge having had already pleaded guilty to incest. When pleading guilty in court at the time, the accused added that the initial charge of incest was 'psychologically traumatising' him.

He had said then: “I am against gender-based violence in all its manifestations. I admit that I knowingly had sexual intercourse with my child, but I am asking to be given an opportunity to take care of my children. I am also asking the court to make an order that I should go and consult professionals for psycho-social counselling.

I don’t think that I could just change overnight and commit the offence that I committed.”

After the accused pleaded not guilty to rape, Nchochi prayed for new trial dates in the matter to be set. When Magistrate Dipate asked the accused if he had anything to say concerning what Nchochi proposed, the accused prayed with the court to vary some of his bail conditions. Said the accused: “Ever since I was arrested and arraigned in court in relation to this offence, I have not been able to raise two sureties who can sign for me in order to qualify to be granted bail. "I pray with the court to cancel the conditions that require me to bring two sureties who shall bind themselves with P3,000 because I have not been able to get them. I also pray with the court that it should vary the condition that I shall pay P3,000 and that I shall bind myself with P1,000.” However, Dipate asked the accused to state exactly how he wanted the court to help him because it has already reduced the P3,000 that the accused was supposed to have paid to P1,000.

The accused then pleaded with the court that he should at least bind himself with P1,000 and cancel the condition that he shall bring two sureties that shall each bind themselves with P3,000 because nobody was willing to sign for him. Dipate then asked Nchochi if the prosecution was opposed to the conditions that the accused had proposed.

In response, Nchochi told the court that the state was not objecting to the conditions that were proposed by the accused. Thereafter the court granted the accused his request save to say that he should now bind himself with P2,000. The accused is due in court on March 3, 2022, for a status update.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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