The grieving parents of a four-year-old girl who was allegedly gang raped and suffocated to death by his close relatives said they have forgiven the alleged murderers because they are juveniles.
In an interview with The Telegraph on Friday, just after the funeral of the young girl, Philip Lentswe, said, “As family, we have decided to exonerate these boys because they are children and they did not know what they were doing and it was just an accident.”
He promised the public that they will do what it takes to protect the juveniles from all critics that the kids may encounter in life but appealed for counseling for them.
“We, as the parents, can take the blame for negligence because if we had not left the kids alone, we could have prevented the incident one way or the other,” he said, adding that it is a pity that the mother of the deceased has four other children and she is just 17 years of age.
“I do not have the right words to describe these whole circumstances of a child having four kids at her age,” he said.
With a pained smile, Lentswe said, “It is unfortunate but what we want is for the mother to be given proper counseling.”
He appealed to members of the public to learn from them, saying children need to be loved and taken care of and given guidance as they grow up.
The councilor of Bokaa Village, in Kgatleng East constituency, Super Bodika, said, “We are aware of bad acts that happen at Mmamashia,” but added that this was the first incident of its kind in his village.
He applauded the family for having forgiven the accused persons and for accepting them back in their family.
Bodika said, though the incident is unexplainable, the public should learn from the Lentswe family that such incidents do happen and they should not divide the family.
He further appealed to the parents to look after their children, adding that, together with tribal authorities and social workers, they will visit the area and examine what kind of assistance the Mmashia residents need to better their standard of living.
The station commander of Seretse Khama International Airport Police, Superintendent King Tshibo, said, “Our investigations are complete and the matter is before the Village Magistrate Court, (the hearing will be) held in camera.”
Tshibo said the juvenile accused have been in the custody of their parents because they could not be detained due to their age, adding that the post-mortem examination is being conducted but the results have not yet been received.
A week ago residents of Kgapamadi in Mmamashia were shocked when two boys, aged 10 and 16, allegedly gang raped and suffocated to death a four year old girl.
The child was laid to rest last Friday at Bokaa Village.