Police are investigating allegations against well-known karate instructor Andrew Dobolo, accused of sexually assaulting two young girls in his charge during last month’s Botswana Games.
Dobolo, a Presidential award winner and viewed as one of the country’s shining sports personalities, was the manager of the Gaborone karate team during the competition when the alleged incidents occurred.
Filing charges recently the girl’s parents contented that on two separate occasions Dobolo lured the two girls aged 13 and 15 to his house where he sexually molested them.
Top karate coach Andrew Dobolo faces criminal charges and censure from the sport’s governing body if accusations of sexual assault on two underage girls are proved.
In the first incident last December, the Gaborone karate team leader, who was voted Sport’s Person of the Year in 2005, is reported to have taken a 13-year-old girl under his charge, away from the team with the pretext that he was going to discipline her for failing to attend training sessions on time. However according to the allegations against him, he instead headed to his house where he groped her private parts and attempted to have sex with her.
With the 15-year-old girl, the karate team boss allegedly lied that he had received a phone call from the teenager’s family that her mother had fallen sick. Instead of taking the girl home, Dobolo apparently again drove to his house where he groped but did not have penetrated sex with her. On both occasions Dobolo is said to have then dropped the girls off at Sebele College where the girls’ team was camping during last month’s week long Botswana Games.
District Youth Officer Oaitse Mbaiwa, who was the Chef de Mission for the Gaborone team confirmed the allegations and charges against Dobolo.
Mbaiwa said that when Dobolo left with the girl that ‘needed discipline’ he saw nothing suspicious as team managers and coaches were free to interact with their team players at any time.
“So far no action has been taken as the matter is still being investigated by the police. Should the allegations turn out to be true it will be the first case of such a nature in the history of sport in Botswana and we would have to make sure that the culprit faces the full weight of the law,” he said.
“The girls are reported to be undergoing counseling with the support of their families while their matter was scheduled to be discussed during the evaluation of the Botswana Games,” Mbaiwa added.
Gaborone West Acting Station Commander Assistant Superintendent Kebueng Hulela confirmed that they were investigating an indecent assault case against a Botswana National Sports Council employee.
“The case was reported to the police on 16 December and it involved two young girls aged 14 and 15, Superintendent Hulela said.
When contacted for a comment Dobolo’s angry response was that he would wait for the publication of the story before saying anything.
Dobolo, a corporal in the BDF based at the SSKB barracks in Gaborone, has been involved in karate over a number of years. In 2007 he launched a karate development programme for children aged 6-15 for his DA Sports Club at Riverwalk Mall.
SEXUAL OFFENCES AND THE LAW
In the wake of indecent assault charges laid against top karate coach, Andrew Dobolo, Gaborone West Police station commander, Bonnie Bareki has clarified circumstances surrounding various sexual offences.
The criminal definition of RAPE: “Any person who has an unlawful canal knowledge of another person or causes a penetration of a sexual organ or instrument of whatever nature into the person of another for the purposes of sexual gratification or who causes the penetration of another person(s) sexual organ into his or her person without the consent of such other person or with such person’s consent if the consent is obtained by force or threats or intimidation of any kind or by fear of bodily harm or by means of false pretences as to the nature of the act or in case of a married person by personating that person’s spouse is guilty of an offence called Rape.”
*The offender shall be sentenced to a minimum of ten years if found not to be HIV positive and a minimum of 15 years with maximum of life imprisonment if HIV positive.
Attempted Rape: Any person who attempts rape is guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be sentenced to a minimum of five years imprisonment or maximum of life imprisonment with or without corporal punishment.
Indecent assault: Any person who unlawfully and indecently assaults any person is guilty of an offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years with or without corporal punishment.
*The Public Prosecutor can determine the evidence and ask for amendment of the charge sheet to attempted rape or less.
Defilement: Any person who unlawfully and carnally knows any person (s) under the age of 16 years is guilty of an offence and upon conviction shall be sentenced to a minimum term of ten years imprisonment or to a maximum term of life imprisonment