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Fingered by his footprints

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*Tracks lead to teacher’s house *Accused of defiling 14-year-old schoolgirl

A Primary School teacher has been remanded in custody accused of defiling a 14-year-old Standard 7 pupil.

It is believed the suspect, 49-year-old Letlhaetse Motshegare, has been abusing the young girl – who is now five months pregnant – since January 2019.

Motshegare, a teacher at Ditshegwane Primary School in Kweneng District, was arrested on Friday 14 August after the girl’s mother allegedly traced footprints from her daughter’s room to his home.

Speaking to The Voice, the upset mum, who cannot be named to protect the identity of her underage daughter, explained how her detective work led to Motshegare’s arrest.

“I discovered some foot marks outside the hut where my daughter sleeps. It showed that he removed his shoes, jumped over the fence and walked barefooted to the girl’s house. When he left, he jumped the fence again, put his shoes back on and returned to his house,” said the 39-year-old mother-of-six, adding she alerted neighbours to her discovery.

The neighbours are then said to have confronted Motshegare, who reportedly confessed that indeed the footprints were his. It is alleged he claimed to have been checking on the girl, informing her to prepare for an exam scheduled for 1 September.

Unimpressed with the teacher’s explanation, she reported her concerns to the police and Motshegare was arrested later that same day.

Adding to her anguish, the mother is also harbouring nagging feelings of guilt, as she claims to have caught Motshegare in her daughter’s room before.

“Once in 2019 towards the ploughing season, around 11pm Motshegare’s girlfriend came to my place and told me that Motshegare got inside a traditional hut where the children are sleeping. We went together to the house and when we got inside I saw him hiding, covered with a blanket at the children’s feet.

“I tried to wake him up and he pretended to be asleep but I suspected he hid himself when he heard us approaching the house. Later he woke up and went to his place,” she narrated, explaining they decided to solve the issue themselves, with the girlfriend promising to ‘reprimand’ her boyfriend.

Although she admitted that Motshegare used to give her children money, the mum furiously denied rumours the cash was in fact payments to stop her reporting him to the police.

“If he was giving me something would I have reported the matter? How can I allow such a big man 10 years older than me to sleep with my fourth born daughter? I could have rather given him her elder sister, not this one!” she said, gesticulating sadly at her tiny daughter.

Pausing briefly, she tells The Voice she discovered her daughter was pregnant back in June.

“Two months back I also realised that the girl did not use her pads and when I questioned her, she told me she had missed her periods. I examined her nipples and discovered they were getting dark in colour, showing a sign of pregnancy.”

The girl was later taken to the clinic where she underwent a pregnancy test and it was confirmed she was two-and-a-half months pregnant.

Although the family had initially planned for the girl to have an abortion, with the pregnancy now at five months that is no longer an option.

Meanwhile, Motshegare, who is popularly known as Chipo in the village, appeared before Molepolole Magistrates Court on 18 August charged with defilement.

Unsuccessfully requesting bail, the Tlhaping ward native told the court he was looking after his 93-year-old father and claimed the old man would be helpless without him.

With investigations still at an early stage and tempers in the village still dangerously high court chose to remand Motshegare in custody.

He is due back in court on 24 September.

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