COMMUNITY-Based Rehabilitation Manager, under the Ministry of Social Development, Retšelisitsoe Stephen Thoahlane, was on Monday found guilty of sexually abusing an 11-year old girl under his care and was slapped with a 15-year imprisonment without an option of a fine by the Children’s Court.
March 2, 2022
2 min read
Father, son jailed 15 years for rape
The Maseru Magistrate's Court
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Thoahlane was convicted together with his son, who was also found guilty by the same court of sexually abusing the same child under their care and protection.
Thoahlane has served the Lesotho National Federation of Organisations of the Disabled (LNFOD) in the leadership role and is also a member of the Lesotho National Federation of the Physically Disabled (LNAPD).
He has continued to work with LNFOD through his esteemed position in the Ministry of Social Development.
LNFOD is local organisation that defends the rights of people with disabilities and their families through provision of training, material and emotional support, and by representing their needs to government, development partners and the wider community.
For its part, LNFOD said it was dismayed at gender-based violence occurrences and has condemned in strongest terms the horrendous sexual abuse of the 11-year-old girl by the convicted father and son.
“We stand in solidarity to say “NO” to violence, “NO” to sexual gender-based violence,” the association also said.
“We pledge to continue working hard to join national, regional and international advocacy efforts towards gender-based violence prevention and response.”
The body has called upon the nation and all stakeholders not to lose focus, noting that persons living with disabilities were human and as such were equal to all, irrespective of gender.
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“Therefore, let us all focus on the real monster, gender inequality, which has formed a strong base for gender-based violence prevalence in Lesotho,” said LNFOD. “Let us, therefore, join each other to challenge gender stereotypes, harmful traditional practices, and discrimination against women and girls deeply embedded in our society. It is only by achieving absolute gender equality that violence against women can be prevented.”
LNFOD promotes zero tolerance towards violence against women and girls irrespective of their status.
Where gender-based violence occurs, LNFOD supports equal access to justice by all persons with disabilities whether as perpetrators and or as victims.