Francistown High Court judge Moses Chinhengo last week dashed the hopes of a convicted rapist, Kgosiitsile Oabile, when he slapped him with a stiffer sentence after dismissing his appeal.
Oabile is currently serving a ten-year sentence after he was convicted of raping an eleven-year-old girl in Botshabelo, Selibe Phikwe, in August 2004.
Last week, he appeared before Justice Chinhengo to appeal against his sentence which had been imposed by Selibe Phikwe magistrate, Masilo Mathaka.
Oabile had pleaded not guilty to the offence, maintaining his initial stance that he could not have committed the rape as he was with his brother on the day the offence was committed.
He further accused the police investigators of framing him and said that the medical report was unfairly conducted. Oabile denied ever committing the offence, further saying that the magistrate had conducted the whole trial unprofessionally as he had dismissed the evidence of the accused’s witnesses while admitting that of the state witnesses.
The state counsel on the other hand submitted that there is no doubt that Oabile was the perpetrator as all the evidence pointed to him. She pointed out that the medical report and the DNA tests that were performed on both the victim and the accused pointed to Oabile as the perpetrator.
When passing judgment, Justice Chinhengo said that the High Court has the discretion to either increase or reduce sentence if it is fully satisfied that the sentence by the magistrate was unfair, as prescribed in section 10 of the penal code.
Chinhengo further highlighted that the accused’s grounds of arguments were not very convincing and were aggravated by a series of previous criminal records, house breaking, assaults and, lastly, the rape of an innocent 11-year-old unsuspecting child who looked up to him as a father. He put forward the doctor’s report of the DNA tests as undeniable evidence.
The Judge also remarked that the accused pounced on the defenseless girl who was forced into a first sexual encounter putting her at risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
“Those who rape little children should be severely punished, the courts must protect little children from men like the appellant and impose a severe sentence to set an example to the rest,” he said.
Chinhengo then went on to increase Oabile’s sentence to 12 years.