As the nation prepares for the annual campaign on violence against women and children, commonly known as 16 days of activism that will resume this week, one of the most disturbing incidents that will no doubt be discussed then is of a 4-year-old girl who was allegedly gang raped and suffocated to death by two boys aged 10 and 16.
It is understood that the older suspect is a Form One pupil at Borwa Secondary School while the other 10-year-old boy was at primary school.
Both are alleged to have abandoned school for no apparent reason.
In an interview with The Sunday Standard, the family spokesperson, Rodah Lentswe, said, “Our hearts are filled with sorrow because of what happened.”
She explained that last Monday the grandmother to the deceased, who lives with both the biological mother and the deceased, went to Bokaa and, on her return, found the child allegedly having been brutally raped and murdered by the two who were close relatives of the deceased.
The grandmother said that upon her arrival from Bokaa on Thursday afternoon she sent one of the children of the house to fetch a radio but was immediately summoned into the house where she found the little girl dead and covered with blankets.
She said the police were called and the deceased was then rushed to Princess Marina Hospital in Gaborone where she was certified dead by the doctor.
“Truly speaking, if the child was looked after well, such a heart-breaking incident would not have happened.”
She, however, said the juvenile suspects were then taken by the police.
“I would like to urge parents not to leave their children with anybody and to always look after their children,” she said.
The station commander of Seretse Khama International Airport Police Station, Superintend King Tshebo, said they are holding two boys, one aged 10 and the other 16, in connection with the incident that occurred at Kgaphamadi, near Mmamashia in Kgatleng District last week Thursday.
Tshebo said the two boys allegedly raped the child and later suffocated her to death, adding that since the suspects are juveniles, they would engage social workers as the law requires.
“We cannot yet release the boys to their parents because they are close relatives to the deceased and also because tempers are still high. This might put their lives in danger,” Tshebo said, adding that the deceased’s mother might also be charged with negligence.
He added that the mother of the dead child is only 17 years old but yet already has 4 children so far, raising the issue of possible defilement , which he said they are looking into.
In a separate case, the same police station is looking for a possible rapist.
“This is not the first incident apparently; we are on a manhunt for a 40-year-old man, Chidzani Mothabani, who allegedly raped her step daughter in Block 8 in Gaborone.”
Tshebo said the suspect is armed with a fire arm and the public must be cautious when dealing with him.
He said they already had found his car abandoned in Francistown and they believe that he is in or around Francistown.