A 58 year old man, Samuel Selolwane who is accused of rape involving a 13 year is refusing to give the state his DNA samples, stalling investigations progress.
This was revealed this morning at the Gaborone High court where Samuel together with his co-accused the victim’s mother, 32 and her friend Lydia Bojammeo,33, appeared for their bail application hearing.
In the matter before the Broadhurst Magistrate court, Selolwane is facing a charge of rape while the victim’s mother and Bojammeo are accused of failing to report the sexual abuse of the child.
During the hearing, State lawyer Mogami Bame revealed that Selolwane has refused to comply with investigations by refusing to give his blood samples to the state. "Selolwane has refused to give his blood samples to the state for the investigations to be completed," said the state lawyer. Mogami says investigations shows that the victim was raped and sustained injuries, "Medical reports presented by the state indicated that the victim had indeed been sexually assaulted," said Mogami. Mogami argued that the accused should remain in police custody due to public anger over the case, fearing that there could be a risk of mob justice if they were released. "The accused must remain in police custody because the public is rightfully angry and wait for trial in jail, if released there might be a mob justice," said Mogami. She also highlighted the severity of the charges, arguing that Selolwane shouldn't be granted bail. "If convicted Selolwane faces 30 years of imprisonment for the serious crime he's accused of," Mogami remarked. Furthermore, Mogami expressed fears that if released, the accused might tamper with the witness. "The victim is still not in a safe place to have the accused given bail," said Mogami. In response, Jonas Obonye, the lawyer representing the accused, denied the charges against his clients. "Selolwane denies to have raped the child or any person for that matter, Veronica and Lydia also deny the charges placed before them," said Jonas. He argued that the mere fact that the investigations are ongoing should not be a valid reason to deny the accused bail. " The fact that the case is new and investigations are said to be on going is not a basis to deny the accused bail," Jonas alluded. Obonye emphasized that the accused had willingly appeared at the police station when invited, demonstrating their readiness to cooperate with the legal process. "For the accused to get arrested they were invited into the police station by the police, that's how they got arrested, these shows that these are people ready to appear before the court of law and prove their innocence," Jonas observed.
Mogami reiterated the state's position, stressing the importance of ensuring the safety of the victim and the integrity of the investigation. "We believe that the accused should remain in custody as the gravity of the charges and the potential risk to the witness and the victim are significant concerns," said Bame. On the other hand, Jonas Obonye expressed confidence in the innocence of his clients and their eligibility for bail. "It is crucial to remember that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. The accused have fully cooperated with the legal process and are entitled to their constitutional right to apply for bail," Obonye stated. The high court has scheduled the ruling on the bail application for the 27th of February 2024 Meanwhile on Monday the main case at the Magistrate court will continue.