Teenager kills elderly woman, rapes her corpse


. . . Thaba-Tseka villagers still in shock after gruesome attack

’Marafaele Mohloboli

IN yet another incident of gender-based violence that has left a Thaba-Tseka village reeling in shock, a 17-year-old boy is said to have brutally murdered an elderly woman before sexually abusing her corpse.

The gruesome crime is said to have occurred at Ha-Soai last Tuesday.

Police deputy spokesperson, Inspector ’Mareabetsoe Mofoka confirmed that the teenager is due to appear before a probation court tomorrow.

Chief Semakaleng Soai this week gave a harrowing account of what transpired on that fateful day when 76-year-old ’Mantsoaki Motseko was killed in cold blood.

When Motseko left for the fields that morning to gather her beans, little did she know that she was leaving her house for good, as death awaited her in the shadows. She did not even get a chance to bid her son, Semokonyane goodbye.

Chief Soai said Semokonyane came to his place between 7pm and 8pm that same evening to report that his mother had not come back from the fields since morning, which was very much unlike her. He was accompanied by one Kholoang Mohai.

“Semokonyane told me that they had already checked for her at all the households she used to visit and no one had seen her, which was quite weird,” Chief Soai said.

“I told them to search the whole area and retrace her steps to the fields. Not long afterwards, they called me to say they had discovered a sack of beans tied with Motseko’s head scarf. Not far away from it, one of her boots was spotted together with her jacket, but she was nowhere to be found.”

Chief Soai said he immediately dispatched a search party.

“The moon was already shining but not enough to provide light so we had to use our phone torches. We followed a track that leads to a river. From the river bank we noticed a rock surface with some traces of blood.

“Next to it was a big stone, also covered with blood. Further down-stream, there was a big willow tree which also had some blood. We then saw a shocking scene. Motseko’s lifeless body was facing upwards in the river. She had a rosary around her neck. She was wearing a green dress, a long-sleeved t-shirt and her underwear was just above her knees, with her socks still on. We concluded that she had been raped and immediately called the police,” Chief Soai said.

He said the police told them that they didn’t have body bags and when they arrived, the search party made a makeshift stretcher out of wood and took her body to the police vehicle.

He explained that he went back to Motseko’s home after her body had been ferried to the mortuary. There, he found neighbours who had already gathered and he ordered them to report to his office. It was already morning on the following day when they came.

“I had already done some preliminary investigations and three names came up, including that of the 17-year-old suspect. I then called all three males and I questioned them.

“They all gave their sides of the story, and so did the suspect who kept on changing his story. At first, he said he had seen Motseko in her field but had not talked to her, but later he changed his statement to say they had a chat about the weather.

“One of the men also told me that he had chatted with the boy earlier on the fateful day and noticed that his pants and t-shirt had some blood on them. I then asked the boy to show me his pants as he was still wearing a blanket, and he did. He had some blood on him and said that came from the horse he was riding as it had a sore on its back.”

The chief said he ordered that the horse be brought to his place and he noticed that indeed it had a scab which was completely healed and had no blood at all.

“At this I called the police again and they came to take down our statements and that of the teenager, before taking him away.

“On Friday police came back with him and he went to point out the scene where he had carried out his barbaric killing. The villagers wanted to take the law into their own hands and deal with the boy, but I stopped them,” he said.

Chief Soai further said the teenager told them he had hit the old woman on the head with his fighting stick and then struck her with a sickle on the head again, and in the heat of the scuffle they both fell into the water.

After seeing that the elderly woman had died, he allegedly undressed her and repeatedly sexually abused her corpse.

In a shaky and irate voice, Chief Soai said it was the first time that something like this has happened in his village.

“This is the most painful experience for any guardian. It has really shocked me in a big way and the rest of the villagers. Should he be released, I think it’s best that he relocates because the people here are baying for his blood. This is so painful and I don’t understand how someone his age did that because I regard every elderly person as a parent.”

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