Father in custody for daughter's assault

Francistown Magistrate's Court. PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES
Francistown Magistrate's Court. PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES

FRANCISTOWN: In a harrowing case bearing the hallmarks of child abuse, a 39-year-old man was arraigned in court for allegedly whipping his six-year-old daughter with a cable resulting in bruises all over her body.

The state alleges that Johane Chilisa Phumaphi, who is unemployed, assaulted his daughter on February 16, 2022, at Gerald Estates. Phumaphi faces a single of assault occasioning bodily harm. The prosecution has indicated that he may be charged under the new Children’s Act.

Sub inspector Kelebonye Matsapa made an application for Phumaphi to be remanded in custody but told the court that the Investigating Officer (IO) was not available to give reasons as he was at the hospital for medical assistance. Matsapa told the court that investigations in the matter are still at an initial stage. “We have not yet recorded statements from potential witnesses.

The child is currently at the hospital for medical attention. The alleged victim stays with her father while her mother resides at Kaalfontein. We are still in the process of making accommodation arrangements for the child with the social welfare officers. We fear that the accused will tamper with our investigations if he is released on bail,” Matsapa said. When asked if he had anything to say, Phumaphi prayed with the court to grant him bail. “It is my first time to commit an offence. I committed the offence without realising that I was doing so. I am currently renting where I stay and I am self-employed. My child is going to suffer if I am not granted bail.

I have also handed myself to the police after committing the offence and I did not give them any problems. The alleged victim’s mother is on the way as we speak,” Phumaphi pleaded. When denying Phumaphi bail, senior Magistrate Thapelo Buang said the accused’s bail application will be considered after the IO gives his reasons for denying him bail. The accused was remanded in custody and will appear in court for a bail hearing on March 7, 2022.

Editor's Comment
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