PALAPYE: A middle aged man from Lerala village was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Rebecca Motsamai on Monday to face four charges of unlawful wounding and raping juveniles.
Gofaone Madikwa is accused of having had carnal knowledge of, and unlawfully wounding an eight-year-old Standard Two and 11-year-old Standard six pupils of Seolwane Primary School.
The court was informed that the incidents happened on March 19, 2014 between 1pm and 3pm at different spots in Seolwane village.
When giving evidence in the matter, a 37 grandmother to the eight-year-old victim, stated that she knew the accused person as a man who has impregnated one of her daughters.
She said on that fateful day, she had prepared the victim together with other children in the morning and when they left for school, she took to the ploughing fields, only returning at 1pm.
“It was after school when the other pupils came home from school that I realised that the victim was not amongst them. I asked them where she was they told me that on their way back from school they met Gofaone and he went away with her,” she told the court.
She said later Gofaone came to her homestead and when she asked him where the child was, he claimed to have given her P2 to go watch TV at school. Soon after, the grandmother said Tshepo came looking for the accused (Gofaone) alleging that he had raped and stabbed her 11-year-old daughter.
“Tshepo came to my house looking for Gofaone and told me he had raped and stabbed her daughter with a knife, and that is when I told her that I have been looking for a child whom he took and he told me she went back to school. It was then that I went looking for the child at school where I learnt Gofaone was seen holding the child’s hand towards the outskirts of the village, I followed the road but it was already getting dark,” she said.
She said she went back and reported the matter to the village Kgosi, who called the villagers to search for the child the whole night. The exercise bore fruit when the wounded child was found under the Moretlwa tree in the bush, around 10 am the following day.
The investigating officer, Sergeant Mpho Nthabane of Maunatlala police, told the court that on March 19, around 5pm he received a report of an 11-year old rape victim who was already referred to Maunatlala Clinic.
“I followed the report to Maunatlala hospital, where I met with the victim, a Standard Six pupil at Seolwane Primary School. She told me the incident happened around 3pm after school while she was awaiting for her friends to go to the ploughing fields,” said Nthabane. He told the court that some of the wounds were covered “but I could visibly see two wounds on her neck and she told me the wounds were caused by the accused person, who also had sexual intercourse with her once without using a condom and without her consent”.
The same day, Nthabane said he was called to Seolwane to join a search for the other reported rape victim, who was found the following day, still in school uniform, which was covered by blood all over. He said that she had some visible wounds on her thighs and neck and they took the victim to the hospital. Nthabane said afterwards they commenced the search for the accused person, when later on they received a phone call from a village taxi driver who informed them that they had made a civilian arrest but since the villagers were too angry with the accused they met with the taxi man outside the village who handed to them the accused.
“That afternoon during an interview with Gofaone he agreed to take me to the first crime scene where he allegedly raped the 11-year-old girl, and so I involved the scenes of crime officer to accompany me. Through the lead of the accused we managed to arrive at the crime scene where we found a pool of blood and dragging marks.”
“At the alleged scene of crime we found a pair of grey school trousers, a pair of white socks and a pair of black shoes. The scene was photographed and the clothes were collected to be presented as evidence,” said Nthabane.
Nthabane added that during the interview regarding the second incident, the accused promised to take him to the crime scene, which he did on the following day but failed to show the crime scene as he said he was not too familiar with the place. He said when they questioned him about the instrument he used to wound the children, he told him that he was using a knife, which he said he lost, and with no hope of recovering it.
Nthabane said the clothes they recovered at the crime scene were sent to Gaborone forensic laboratory for testing. He told the court that he warned and cautioned the accused person for rape and unlawful wounding.
When the accused person was asked to cross-examine both witnesses he said he agreed with what both witnesses said and he had nothing to say.
The Directorate of Public Prosecutions’ Lindane Baiketile told the court that since the accused person agrees with their witnesses and has got nothing to say the prosecution is closing their case. He further said he would file some written submissions.After the court read to the accused his constitutional rights the accused said that he was opting to remain silent and he will not be calling any witnesses.The Chief Magistrate then ruled out that the prosecution should file written submissions before or on February 13, 2015 and accused to file his response before or on February 20, 2015. She said judgment should then be delivered on March 4, 2015 at 2pm. She ruled that the accused be further remanded in custody until the set dates.