Save our girls
We can only hope that the allegations of rape that have been levelled against a former minister (a former minister of law for that matter) are not true.
We also hope that the allegations that the family of the victim (who happens to be an orphan and minor) kept the rape a secret until the victim was visibly pregnant are not true.
We further hope that the allegations that the Mohale’s Hoek police (where the alleged crime was first reported) did not lift a finger to investigate the alleged crime are not true.
elsewhere in this edition, we carry the story of the alleged rape of a 17 year-old girl by a former minister in the former seven parties’ coalition that was headed by Pakalitha Mosisili.
rape is a serious crime that violates the dignity of any human being and it is very common to learn of victims who never succeed in overcoming the resultant trauma and it negatively shapes their behaviour and attitudes to fellow human beings for the remainder of their lives.
rape is a form of violence just like the physical assaults and beatings that people in our society especially women and children are subjected to on a constant basis.
It is a testament of how soulless a nation we have become that a man of high standing such as a former minister of law should be a suspect in a crime as serious as rape.
not only is the man in question supposed to be a father figure to the poor orphaned girl who he allegedly turned into prey for his sexual gratification, the man also presided over the very ministry which is supposed to safeguard the rights of all citizens including the helpless girl child.
As if his actions in raping the child were not cruel enough, the man had the audacity to commit the crime without protection as evidenced by the resultant pregnancy. this is all the more incosiderate considering the HIV/AIDS prevalence rates of about 25 percent- the second highest in the world after eSwatini.
As we have stated before, rape is a serious crime which needs to be reported and investigated at the earliest opportunity. We therefore find it not strange and appalling that the Mohale’s Hoek police did not lift a finger to investigate the alleged crime when it was reported to them. In such situations, the reasonable conclusion is that there was an attempt to protect the suspect because he has a person of influence and high standing in society.
If the claims against the Mohale’s Hoek police are true, then they must hang their heads in shame for failing the defenceless and vulnerable citizens that they are supposed to protect.
Such reports are coming at a time when we, along with the rest of the nation, were starting to believe that the police had turned over a new leaf after the incidents of the past few years where they, along with the army were caught up in serious human rights violations which contributed to the instability in the country.
It was even our sincere hope that the police were learning so much about the protection of human rights from their colleagues in the Southern African Development community (SADc) Standby Force which has been in the country and providing training in policing since December 2017.
the family of the victim must also be censured for attempting the hide the alleged offence. they probably would have succeeded in their despicable actions had it not been for some community members whose suspicions were aroused when they noticed that the victim was pregnant.
If the police can no longer be relied upon to investigate crimes and protect victims, then the country is heading down a dark dangerous path to repression and insecurity. Ours can only become a broken nation of traumatised people if the family unit is seen to abetting crimes instead of reporting suspects and protecting poor innocent victims.
Ours is a nation that was founded on the values of peace, love and tolerance. this is an admirable trinity of values that we would do well to return to.