Disgraced rape suspect sets self alight in suicide attempt

MASERU — A 22-year-old man from Ha Tsolo in Maseru set himself ablaze last Saturday after allegedly raping his 19-year-old cousin.

Police spokesman Masupha Masupha said the suspect set himself on fire because he was overcome with shame.

The man, whose name was not revealed to the press, sustained serious burns on the head and other parts of the body.

He was treated as an outpatient at a local hospital and was discharged.

Masupha said the man told the police that he wanted to end his life because he was ashamed of what he had done to his cousin.

“Neighbours saw some smoke coming from the house. They asked the suspect to get out of the burning house but he refused,” Masupha said.

“The suspect only agreed to come out when police told him to come out.”

He said the suspect will be charged with rape and malicious damage to property.

The suspect is in police custody and the police are carrying out investigations into the matter.

In Mphaki in Quthing, a 21-year-old man was arrested on August 16 for allegedly sodomising a 20-year-old man.

According to a police report, the two men were sharing a bed in the same house.

The report said the victim claimed he had been raped several times by the suspect.

“The victim decided to report the matter because the suspect could not stop,” Masupha said.

Also in Quthing, a 12-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her 14-year-old cousin last Tuesday.

According to a police report, a relative caught the suspect raping the victim.

The incident was reported to the police by the victim’s mother.

The suspect, who is a minor, is under police protective custody after family members threatened to harm him.

Investigations are continuing.

In Maseru, a 19-year-old woman from Lower Thamae was allegedly raped at gun-point in her home on August 14.

Masupha said the victim was raped at around 9pm.

“The woman told the police that she heard a knock at 9pm. When she opened the door she found a stranger at the door,” Masupha said.

“The suspect pointed a gun at her, pushed her inside and threatened to kill her if she made any noise.”

The man raped the woman and fled the house soon after.

Police are still investigating the case.

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