‘Liar, bitter...’

KANYE: In a strange court encounter, magistrate Bosele Busang watched as tempers flared between a defence lawyer and the mother to the minor in an indescent assualt case.

Defence lawyer Thapelo Mphala, representing 29-year-old Keduetswe Nthupisang who is accused of indecently assaulting a 10-year-old girl by squeezing her breasts and private parts, was interogating the child’s mother, who stood as state witness, yesterday. The mother told court that in September 2013, after an eventful  night, her daughter woke her up with a sorrowful expression on her face.

She said upon questioning her daughter, she revealed that she did not sleep as the accused person had been touching her breasts and private parts.

She said her daughter mentioned that it was not the first time the accused had done this to her. The accused is the boyfriend to the witness’ younger sister.

But Mphala charged that the mother was a liar, not a credible witness and a bitter woman who was trying to settle scores with her sister, using the accused as a scapegoat.

He said the witness failed to explain why she said she reported the matter in September while the charge sheet indicates that the case was registered on March 30 the following year. He also accused her of coaching her daughter to implicate the accused in an offence he did not commit.

The mother also came out with her guns blazing and asked why she would fake such a painful story.

“Other students are at school and mine is in court, do you think I can make my daughter to miss school just to drag her before court for fun?” she asked.

The now 12-year-old girl broke into tears when she took the oath. She told court in 2012 the accused asked her to prepare tea for him before he touched her breast and front part. During cross-examination, she admitted that she was told by her mother to come to court and explain what had happened. She said she only felt the touch from the accused but never saw his hand. Defence counsel put it to her that she was telling lies before court because the assault never happened, adding that the mother and the complainant were giving contradicting evidence, especially on dates on which the alleged offence took place.

The investigating officer constable, Peter Serumola, also came with a different date, where he said he received a report of indecent assault on September 14, 2013, contrary to the dates that appear on the charge sheet.

In making an application of no case to answer, Mphala said the variation of dates presented by all state witnesses meant that the offence never occurred. He said witnesses could not give sound answers to statements put to them, especially the complainant who alleged that she was indecently assaulted.

“Assault is physical application of force and if the complainant never saw the hand of the accused, it means the story is cooked and the offence never happened,” he said.

He pleaded with the court to discharge and acquit the accused person. On the other hand, the prosecution submitted that they have proven their case and prayed that the accused person be put to his defence. The ruling on the case will be on October 15 2015.

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