March 20, 2024


2 min read

Suspected rapist tricks victim

Suspected rapist tricks victim

The Maseru Magistrate's Court

Story highlights

    The accused chased the victim deep into the ravine, where he sexually assaulted her
    The accused chased the victim deep into the ravine, where he sexually assaulted her

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A MAN from Ha Mohloanyane in Matsieng, who allegedly forced a 19-year-old girl from the neighbouring village of Tajane into a nearby ravine where he allegedly raped her is scheduled to appear in the Maseru Magistrate’s Court on April 2 to face trial on charges of rape.

Tšepo Mahao, 30, briefly appeared before Magistrate Nkhethoa Molapo on March 18, where he was formally charged with rape.

He was granted bail of M1, 000 under specific conditions, which included refraining from interfering with police investigations or intimidating witnesses.

He was also mandated to attend all remand hearings and participate in the trial until its conclusion.

However, Mahao was unable to meet the required bail deposit and consequently was ordered to await his trial in detention at the Maseru Central Prison until the matter was resolved.

Evidence presented in court by the Crown, led by prosecutor Hlojeng, indicates that on March 13, Moleboheng Popele, aged 19, was on her way home from her uncle’s residence when she encountered Mahao. Investigations conducted by Inspector Nyoe ’Mota of the Morija Police reveal that when the two, who apparently knew each other, met at a grazing field, they engaged in conversation, during which Mahao allegedly instructed Popele to return to Tajane, claiming her uncle needed to convey something to her.

However, Popele, with scepticism, refused to return to Tajane, arguing that her uncle would contact her if he needed to discuss anything with her.

The court was informed that she fled when Mahao persisted in his insistence that they go to Tajane together.

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Evidence presented by Inspector ’Mota further indicates that Mahao pursued Popele deep into the field and caught up with her before she could escape. He is alleged to have forcefully dragged her into a nearby ravine, where he allegedly sexually assaulted her.

Upon her return to Tajane, Popele recounted the harrowing ordeal to her uncle. Consequently, she was taken to the hospital, where medical examinations confirmed sexual assault.

A community-led search, involving members of the community and the community policing forum, was initiated, resulting in the apprehension of the accused.

He was subsequently handed over to the Morija police.

When questioned about his occupation by Magistrate Molapo, the accused stated that he is unemployed and works as a herder for his family's livestock, also mentioning that he is separated from his wife. 

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