A 48-YEAR-OLD man has appeared in court over allegations he raped a three-year-old child, leaving her badly injured.
Letsema Letsema appeared before the Qacha’s Nek Magistrates’ court on June 1 2023 after he was accused of choking and raping the 3-year-old girl. He is back in court again today.
According to the charge sheet, Letsema was at a fellow villager’s home in Qacha drinking traditional beer while the child was busy playing outside. On realizing that the child’s grandmother had gone into the other house, he allegedly grabbed the girl, dragged her away, throttled and raped her before running away.
The grandmother subsequently responded after hearing the child’s screams. She had nonetheless already been raped and injured and the perpetrator had vanished.
Letsema was arrested the same day as the child was able to identify him.
Letsema is said to have admitted to his crime after the arrest, claiming that he did not know what had possessed him to engage in such a dastardly act.
He is said to have also blamed his behaviour on intoxication. The child was badly injured in the rape, the police report states.
Lesotho has one of the highest incidences of sexual and gender-based-(SGBV) violence in the world. According to the World Population Review’, 86 percent of Basotho women have experienced gender-based-violence (GBV) in their lifetime.
Lesotho also ranks third in the world in terms of per capita rape incidences, in addition to its other dubious distinction of being number six in the world for homicides.
It has become imperative to seek alternative ways of dealing with this scourge. Although there have been concerted efforts by mainly NGOs to deal with the scourge, SGBV remains a pandemic in this Kingdom.
The United Nations in Lesotho has identified addressing SGBV as one of its priority areas for intervention.