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Pensioner faces possible 40-year jail term

ACCUSED OF RAPE: Ngatwa
ACCUSED OF RAPE: Ngatwa

– He is convicted of raping grandchild

A 70-year-old pensioner convicted of four counts of raping his grandchild is likely to be sentenced to 40 years imprisonment.

The accused, Morris Ngatwa of Gamodubu, Bokalaka ward in the Kweneng District, today (Wednesday) appeared before Molepolole Magistrates’ Court hopeful to get his sentence but the Gender Based Violence (GBV) Magistrate Keabetswe Majuta commuted the matter to the High Court since it was above her sentence jurisdiction.

“Section 142(5) of the penal code provides that a rape case shall not run concurrently with any other sentence whether the other sentence be for the offence of rape or any other offence. This therefore means the accused is facing an aggregate of 40 years imprisonment,” explained Magistrate Majuta.

However, the elderly man who had no previous conviction had failed to seek the court’s mercy during mitigation, He did not say anything and rather told the court during exceptional extenuating circumstances that there was nothing he could do, so the court should take its decision.

Ngatwa is accused of repeatedly raping his 16-year-old granddaughter since January 2020. He was however charged with five counts of rape which occurred at Gamodubu but the court did not find him guilty on the fifth count because the state could not prove it.

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The widowed old man is said to have been staying with the 16-year-old victim and her younger brother aged 12, following the death of their mother.

The accused allegedly penetrated the teenager without using a condom and when she tried to scream because of pain, he covered her mouth with his hand.

The girl did not tell anyone as she feared the accused who threatened to throw her and her sibling out of his house if she complained.

He is said to have only stopped abusing the girl on August 7th, 2020 after the girl’s 12-year-old younger brother witnessed it one night when he heard a mattress shaking and saw his grandfather on top his sister while the sister was crying and the brother later reported to one of the family relatives who later informed other family members before the matter was reported to the police.

During confrontation by the police the old man allegedly did not deny sleeping with his granddaughter, but claimed he paid the minor for sex. In his defence before court, the old man had claimed he did not know why he was accused because his private parts were dead and not capable of erection.

He further claimed the police should explain to him how he could have raped his grandchild and further asked them to examine his manhood.

However, Ngatwa is remanded in custody awaiting his sentence which is expected to be soon before the High Court.

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