Man in court for allegedly raping 14-year-old niece

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FRANCISTOWN: A 35-year-old Semitwe village man was Tuesday arraigned before Magistrate Ditebogo Ntuli for allegedly raping his 14-year-old niece.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the alleged victim, allegedly started having sex with his niece from 2019 where she was about 10 until recently.

When the accused appeared in court for arraignment, prosecutor Moatlhodi Macheng made an application for the accused to be remanded in custody on reasons that will be advanced by the Investigating Officer (IO), Detective Constable Oteng Kgathego.

Kgathego told the court that investigations in the matter were still at their initial stages whereby it was critical to interview the complainant and other potential witnesses without any interference from the accused.

“If the accused is granted bail, we fear that he will interfere with potential witnesses who are his relatives including the alleged victim. The accused stays in the same yard with the alleged complainant and other potential witnesses.

From our investigations so far, we have gathered that the accused was threatening the complainant and other witnesses. The accused is now a Motswana but he was born in Zimbabwe where he still has some family ties. We fear that if he is granted bail, he may escape to Zimbabwe and never attend trial,” said Kgathego.

When praying with the court to grant him bail, the accused said that the police now know very well that he is the one who is taking care of his family and as such, the latter will suffer if he was to remain incarcerated. At the end of the appearance, Magistrate Ntuli denied the accused bail saying that he will likely interfere with witnesses including the alleged victim.

She however said that prosecution has not proved on a balance of probabilities that the accused was a flight risk.

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