OFF THE HOOK

FREED: Simon Tafi

Cheated on husband freed from wife beating charges

The suspicions of a Molepolole man who assaulted his wife for sleeping with the Assistant Minister of Health, Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri were not misplaced, the magistrate’s court has ruled.

Making the above observation when dismissing assault charges against the aggrieved husband, Simon Tafi,  Magistrate Thabo Malambane  said that evidence before court had shown that Matlhaphiri could have had a sexual relationship with his housemaid and destabilized her marriage in the process.

“I find the evidence of the accused to be possibly true that there was a relationship between his wife, Mmaonene and this one Mr. Matlhabaphiri,” Malambane said.

The magistrate arrived at the conclusion that the boss and his maid could have been lovers after both Matlhabaphiri and Mmaonene admitted in court that at some point Simon found them in Matlhabaphiri’s car at 1 am in the morning.

Although the suspected couple told the court that Matlhabaphiri was on his way to drop off Mmaonene following a long working day ahead of elections, the Magistrate found the statements unconvincing.

“Neither Matlhabaphiri nor the woman can tell me that the meeting was so sudden that prior arrangements could not have been made for a driver to take employees home instead of having the ‘honourable minister’ driving them home himself. Arrangements by  Simon’s wife could have also been made to inform the accused (Simon) that she was going to knock off  late that night,” Malambane further noted.

Magistrate Malambane also stated that he found it very odd that the assistant minister held elections meeting until early morning hours in April, May, June and July, instead of  October which is the election month.

“I therefore find that the late dropping off of  Simon’s wife at 1am by Matlhabaphiri is questionable and raises  eyebrows,“ Malambane added.

The Magistrate further stated how he was shocked to hear that the Minister convinced Mmaonene to have unprotected sex with him by misleading to believe that he could not possibly infect her with HIV because he was circumcised.

“If this evidence is true, then there are many ignorant people in this country and the Ministry of Health has a lot of work to do to educate Batswana that circumcision is not prevention for HIV/AIDS.”he noted.

Setting Simon free the magistrate said:”I commend the accused person for not having taken the passion killing route even under this stressful experience he had to endure. The accused person has been wronged in all means but that does not mean that I condone what he did, therefore having to convict him for this offence would be to give him much more than a human being can bear under the sun.”

Simon Tafi was represented by Aobakwe Monamo of Duma Boko Attorneys free of charge.

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