In Francistown, residents of Monarch are outraged over the rape of a 4-year-old girl by a man suspected to be a boyfriend of the minor’s relative.

The girl’s relatives and friends as well as general members of the public at Monarch are said to be planning to beat up the alleged perpetrator, who was arraigned before Francistown Magistrate, Dumisani Basupi on Tuesday.

26-year-old Boitshwarelo John was not asked to plead to the charge of rape as police investigations into the matter are still at an early stage.

According to court papers, John allegedly had carnal knowledge of a minor without her consent on February 15 2014.

The people who attended the accused’s court appearance on Tuesday expressed dismay at the incident, saying it is time for people to stand together against sexual offenses in the society.

“It could have been any child, tomorrow he could be turning to my kid,” lamented a worried Maipelo Mulondo, who added that the number of sex offenders seems to be increasing.

Another resident of Monarch said they are faced with the additional task of shrugging off the reputation that comes with residing in an area which seems to be degenerating into a “rape zone.”

“Very soon, a big banner inscribed You are now entering a rape zone will placed in all internal roads leading into Monarch,” said the resident, who refused to be named for fear of victimization.

Meanwhile, John has been remanded in custody. Boikhutso Monametsi, the investigating officer in the matter, told the court that the accused had no fixed place of residence since he was staying with his girlfriend in the compound in which the offense was committed.

Monametsi said the police are yet to ascertain the accused person’s nationality as he had failed to produce any form of identity upon request by the police. The investigating officer also expressed fear for the accused’s security should he be released on bail.

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