FRANCISTOWN: The 47 cases of rape recorded by Letlhakane police since the beginning of this year cause concern, the station commander, superintendent Michael Maphephu said. Maphephu told Mmegi that most victims were raped at shebeens when drunk, who include girls aged below 18 who are prohibited by law from drinking alcohol.
He said efforts to stop the residents from selling liquor in their houses, especially illegal home-made brews, were futile. “Some even trick us into believing that they drink tea as they put khadi in a big teapot, consuming it the whole day.” One of the recent cases involved the rape of a 15-year-old girl by a 20-year-old man. Police say the man dragged the girl to his house where he raped her.
“Often times under age girls are victims of rape because of illegal trading of liquor in their households,” Maphephu said. The station commander said he believed that many cases were not reported to the police because the victims chose to remain silent.
He advised women to always walk in pairs or groups at night for safety against rapists and other criminals. He said police were planning to call stakeholders for a sponsored walk against rape.
Maphephu said police were working round the clock to stop illegal trading of liquor in homes. If necessary, he added, police would conduct house-to-house searches because shebeens were ideal places for crime to take place. He said police were also investigating a case in which a 19-year-old man hanged himself after an argument with his parents over a car.
“It appears that the deceased took his parent’s car without permission and damaged it and when his parents accused him he took his life,” Maphephu said. He said people should always seek help from social workers and other professionals instead of committing suicide.