THE Maseru Children’s Court has threatened to issue a warrant for the arrest of a 79-year-old man accused of raping a 10-year-old girl after he failed to show up in court on Wednesday this week.
Dec. 15, 2022
2 min read
Suspected rapist absconds
The Maseru Magistrate's Court
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The matter was postponed until January 11, 2023, with the court warning that if Lebohang Kurate Ntšene still fails to make an appearance, he would face arrest for absconding.
No explanation was given as to why Ntšene of Ha Mampa failed to show up in court this week.
The court had earlier in November temporarily reprieved the man by allowing him to await trial from the comfort of his home, owing to his advanced state of prostate cancer.
This is despite the evidence that proves that Ntšene had bought the silence of his young victim with cash to the value of M121.
Evidence before court shows how the accused later resorted to intimidation when he ran out of cash, threatening to slit the young girl’s throat with a sword if she squealed on him.
Notwithstanding the gravity of his alleged offence, the court decided to release Ntšene owing to his critical health condition.
In its ruling, the court showed that although the severity of charges levelled against him warranted that he be remanded in custody, but the accused was not fit to await trial behind bars.
A radiologist report from the Makoanyane Military Hospital confirmed the ill-health.
The court heard how sometime in October this year Ntšene who is a neighbour of the victim’s parents invited the young girl into his goats’ pen and repeatedly raped her.
On one occasion the court was told, the accused paid M100 for the girl’s silence while on another instance he gave her M21.
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On days when he had run out of cash, evidence before court shows that the accused threatened to slit his victim’s throat with a sword.
It is further alleged that after the accused paid for her silence, the victim was seen by fellow villagers at a local grocery store buying some goodies, which she later shared with her friends.
Luck eventually ran out on the accused and when his victim was intensely questioned about her strange spending behaviour, she revealed the incessant rape, leading to Ntšene’s subsequent arrest by the community before he was handed over to the police.