Striking under the shade of a giant Morula tree, a 27-year-old Maphalane man is accused of raping a mentally disturbed 11-year-old girl.
The child had been out looking for fruits when the suspect, Michael Kabelo Olebetse, reportedly pounced.
“The girl was left at her grandmother’s place with her 30-year-old uncle and her cousins aged 16 and four. Later on the 16-year-old girl took the baby to sleep at their mother’s place which is near their grandmother’s yard, leaving the victim with her uncle,” revealed Molepolole Police Superintendent Lebani Burns, in a brief interview with The Voice.
According to Burns, earlier in the day Olebetse had been to the complainant’s mother’s house where he asked for a glass of water.
The Station Commander further disclosed that the complainant left her uncle in search of Morula fruits.
It is thought Olebetse violated her then, causing heavy bleeding and making it difficult for her to walk.
Superintendent Burns said when the young girl eventually returned to her grandmother’s place, her dress was splattered with blood.
“When her aunt arrived and tried to question the victim, they did not get any explanation as she was traumatised and unable to talk,” he continued, adding the girl’s relatives followed her shoe prints, which led them to a Morula tree where they discovered blood all over the ground.
“Fortunately, the relatives also managed to follow the accused’s foot-marks. They realised that he was barefooted and on the way had put on his shoes and went to his place where the shoe-marks ended,” added the top cop.
Appearing before Molepolole Magistrates Court this week, the prosecutor, Inspector Thema Marumolo pleaded with court to remand the suspect in custody. He noted that statements were still to be recorded and police were yet to establish whether the accused is from Molepolole or Bobonong.
For his part, Olebetse told court he needed to collect his outstanding pay for a job he had done fencing someone’s field.
His hopes at freedom were dashed however, as Senior Magistrate, Nthabiseng Merafhe-Tladi instead ordered the prosecution to assist Olebetse with retrieving the payment.