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Tshibilili gets five years for defilement

19 Feb 2023

The Village Magistrate Court has sentenced Michael Tshibilili to five years imprisonment for sexually defiling a girl under the age of 18.

Tshibilili of Rampedi ward in Mochudi is said to have, between March 1-30, 2020, sexually engaged with a girl under the age of 18, an act which resulted in pregnancy and birth of a child.

Delivering sentence on Thursday, Senior Magistrate Tshepo Thedi said the convict would not get the mandatory 10-year minimum sentence for defilement since there were extenuating circumstances that the court took into consideration.

The law, according to the senior magistrate, stipulated that a person who was found guilty of an offence of defilement was liable to a jail sentence with a mandatory minimum term of 10 years.

However, Ms Thedi said where there were exceptional extenuating circumstances, the court was at liberty to impose a lesser, but appropriate sentence.

However, cautioned that cases of rape and defilement were on the rise and the law must act accordingly against perpetrators. 

She said violence against children especially sexual violence by people who were closely related to them were also a serious concern.

In relation to the present case, Ms Thedi said the convict sexually abused someone he was closely related to. 

She said the criminal act occurred at a time when the victim was a pupil at a junior secondary school.

As such, Ms Thedi said since the victim was a pupil and unemployed she would not be in a position to take care of the child on her own.

She said the convict had been supporting the child and the victim, therefore taking into account such an extenuating circumstances, a lesser sentence was appropriate. 

Ms Thedi also added that Tshibilili was a first offender.

She said balancing the interests of the society with the convict’s mitigating points, an appropriate sentence would be five years imprisonment. Tshibilili was reminded of his right to appeal either the judgement or sentence within 14 days from the day of sentencing.

In mitigation, Tshibilili pleaded with the court to be lenient in passing sentence as he was taking care of his three school going children.

He said since his incarceration after conviction, the children were not able to go to school due to transport challenges. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Moshe Galeragwe

Location : Gaborone

Event : Court

Date : 19 Feb 2023