A 2019 Alliance for progressives (AP) council candidate for Gumare-Tubu ward in North West District Taejoruavi Maekopo has been jailed.
The 25- year -old Maekopo was last week convicted for rape, a crime he is said to have committed when he was still a school boy at Maun senior secondary school in 2016.
Although the Maun magistrate court is yet to pass the sentence, Maekopo has been found guilty of raping his then 12- year- old cousin at a family home in Maun and is therefore facing a possible 10-year jail time.
“Complainant was consistent in her evidence and impressed court as a worthy and credible witness and other witnesses corroborated her evidence,” ruled chief magistrate, Theebeetsile Mulalo.
Mulalo further ordered for Maekopo to be remanded in custody until 5th of April when the court is expected to hear about his previous convictions if there are any, before passing the sentence.
The background of the case is that some time in 2016, when Maekopo was a boarding student, he visited his uncle in Maun to ask for toiletry money.
However, when he got there, he found that the girl’s parents were out of town and had left the girls with their aunt.
The aunt is said to have persuaded Maekopo to stay with the children while she went out.
Allegedly, later that night after the three girls went to bed, Maekopo sneaked into their bedroom, laid a spare mattress on the floor, lifted the 12- year -old from the bed, and laid her on the mattress where he proceeded to rape her.
Maikopo is said to have removed the girl’s pyjamas and sexually assaulted her.
The girl who said she initially thought she was being raped in a dream, told court that the sharp pain of penetration woke her up to the reality that she was indeed being raped by her cousin Maekopo whom she said she found with his boxer shorts down and on top of her.
The girl’s younger sibling also testified that she saw Maekopo on top of her sister, albeit she later withdrew the statement and said she only did it in an attempt to get Maekopo to confess to the crime.
However Maekopo through his attorney, Lesego Phoi, had claimed innocence and argued that when the girls saw Maekopo bending over, he was merely putting the other girl to sleep.
He further alleged that he removed the girl from the bed because the girls were crowded on the same bed and he wanted them to sleep comfortably.
The girl’s father is said to have later whipped a confession out of Maekopo but Maekopo maintained that he only admitted to the alleged crime to save himself from more whipping from the uncle.
With the family having given damning evidence against him, Maekopo’s hope of wringing out of the accusation was in the medical evidence which was inconclusive.
The examining doctor could not state whether or not penetration took place. Further the police failed to produce laboratory test results that linked Maekopo to the crime because at the time of the report they had run out of sexual assault kits and could not take specimen.
Notheless after listening to both sides, Mulalo was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the girl was telling the truth and found Maekopo guilty as charged.
Meanwhile, Phoi has revealed that they intend to appeal the conviction, despite the sentence not having been passed as yet.
“Looking at the conviction, we will surely make an appeal,”said Phoi.