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Court remands accused person pending sentence

22 May 2024

Ghanzi Senior Magistrate, Mpho Molema, on Monday (20/05//24) ordered Gabaduelwe Mukereu, who stands charged on a single count of rape to be remanded in custody pending sentencing to be delivered on June 24.

The accused is alleged to have on different occasions between January 2017 and July 2018 exact date unknown at Chobokwane settlement in Ghanzi District unlawfully had carnal knowledge of a minor.

The accused person pleaded not guilty, and the state called five witnesses for oral evidence whilst for the complainant the proceedings were held in camera since she is a minor.

In his summary of evidence presented, Mr Molema said the accused person had failed to convince court as to the truthfulness of his story, adding that his evidence was insufficient and too brief as he only testified that after receiving a call from Ghanzi police station, upon arrival he found the complainant and her mother.

Mr Molema said the identity of the accused person was never in question as he was someone familiar to the complainant as they stayed in the same yard and that the complainant pointed to the accused person as the perpetrator.

He said the disadvantage of reporting the matter late was that potential evidence may have been lost, hence, no DNA which matched that of the accused was found on the complainant. 

However, he said a conviction of rape was possible despite absence of direct medical evidence linking accused and complainant, if there was other evidence that could prove guilt of the accused.

In that case, he said the medical doctor who assessed the complainant told the court that the complainant hymen was absent, an indication that the complainant was not a virgin. 

“In normal circumstances we don’t expect an 8-year-old to be sexually active and the absence of the hymen raises eyebrows. It is a proof that penetration occurred” he said.

Meanwhile, he said absence of the accused DNA’s in the complainant vagina does not necessary entitles the accused person to an acquittal. 

He said it was proven that the complainant was not walking properly and had sores on her vagina and was also proven that her hymen was absent, a sign that penetration occurred.

Moreover, he said the accused person stayed with the complainant at the material time and all the evidence, both direct and circumstantial point to one conclusion, that the accused person was the one who had canal knowledge with the minor.

Mr Molema the accused person version was not reasonably possible true that he did not commit the offence, as his version was false beyond reasonable doubt.

“I therefore, make a finding that the prosecution has discharged its burden of proof and has proved all essential elements of the charge before court beyond reasonable doubt and that accused person is hereby, found guilty on a single count of rape” he ordered.

In their submission, public prosecutor, Sergeant Sthathiso Ngebani told court that, they couldn’t finger print the accused due to some technical glitches and again pleaded with court to take into account that accused was a first offender.

For his part, accused pleaded with the court to be lenient on him as he said, he owns some small stock that were under his care, so he got no one to tender to them whilst in custody.

He also said court should consider his medical conditions as he said he was living with disability, following a car accident he encountered in 2022 that left him with four fractures on the head, nose and jaws. 

In addition, he said due to accident injures, his left hand was dysfunctional and also got lung problems as he always experiences difficulties in breathing.

Moreover, he said, during the examinations it was stated that he had infected the child with sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), but he was never undertaken through the medical check up to corroborate their findings. Meanwhile Mr Molema ordered accused to be remanded while pending his sentencing. ENDs

Source : BOPA

Author : Malebogo Lekula

Location : GHANZI

Event : Court case

Date : 22 May 2024