FRANCISTOWN: The number of mothers who try without success to conceal sexual assault cases their children report to them seem to be on the rise.
Yesterday, Magistrate Kose Makobo convicted a Zimbabwean man-whose names have been withheld for ethical reasons-of raping his stepdaughter in 2016.
In the case, the victim attended a primary school in one of the local schools here.
The court heard that the child had on numerous occasions alerted her mother that her stepfather was in the habit of sexually assaulting her. But the victim’s mother took her child’s pleas lightly.
The court further heard that the father’s cruel intentions were later exposed after the victim reported the numerous sexually assaults to her school teacher. The accused first raped the victim, who cannot be named for ethical reasons, during a fishing expedition with the victim and her two siblings.
The accused, who showed no signs of remorse when the judgement was delivered, instructed the victim’s other siblings to remain behind at the fishing point while he went to a secluded spot with the victim and then allegedly raped her.
“You caressed the victim and then told her to remove her panties and thereafter you inserted your manhood in her private parts then raped her. She reported the incident to her mother but the mother thought that her child’s pleas were borne out of the rivalry that sometimes existed between stepfathers and their stepchildren,” said Makobo.
Makobo further stated that the stepfather made it a habit of sexually molesting the child for weeks on end when the victim’s mother and her aunt went to work. “The teacher who reported the matter also noticed that the victim’s school work was dropping and when she asked her what was the problem, the victim revealed the shocking news,” said Makobo.
Makobo added that the matter was later reported to the police who later arrested and charged the accused with the offence. After the verdict, the magistrate made an order that the accused should be fingerprinted and undergo an HIV test. The accused is due for sentencing on July 23. Botlhale Ramosweu represented the state.
A few years back, this publication reported about a matter in which a mother tried to save her lover-a former soldier with the Botswana Defence Force (BDF)-from possible prosecution after he repeatedly sexually assaulted his stepdaughter.
In another incident, another woman from Bluetown location also tried to conceal what her lover, who was also a soldier with the BDF, from being brought to justice for sexually assaulting his stepdaughter. In both the above cited cases, the accused were later found guilty.