Gospel artist  faces rape charge

Gospel artist faces rape charge

MASERU – HE sings about God and repentance.
Yet some of his lyrics border on the lewd with a heavy dose of sexual undertones.
Now the hugely popular gospel artiste, whose name we have withheld until he is charged in a court of law, stands accused of an abhorrent crime – the rape of a three-year old toddler.
On Monday, the Mabote police took the musician to court in Teya-teyaneng but he did not appear before a magistrate.
The prosecution said they were still to finish their investigations.

The crime, which allegedly happened on June 30, has however infuriated the community in Ha-Mabote.
Speaking to thepost this week, the father whose name we have withheld to protect the identity of the minor, said he sent his daughter to the shops. The toddler was accompanied by her seven-year-old sister.

He says the girls took too long to return home.
The girl later told her father that her stomach was aching.
‘‘I did not take the matter seriously and took it for granted, unaware that it was a big issue,’’ the father said.

‘‘She kept on calling his name (the musician) and I assumed maybe it was because she loved his music,” he said, adding: “But it was surprising how often she kept on mentioning his name.’’
The girl’s mother said she saw some white discharges from her daughter’s private parts while bathing her, triggering the alarm bell.
“She cried and told me to stop as it was hurting,” she said.

That was when she decided to take her to Queen Elizabeth II Hospital.
To her horror, the doctor confirmed that the girl had been raped.
The police were then roped into the investigations.

The girl told the police that she was on her way to the shops when the musician called her to his shack, undressed her and smeared her with Vaseline and raped her.
He then gave her money and told her not to tell anyone.
She said the older girl who was with her waited for her outside at the gate.

The older girl also told the police that the man called the little one to his shack and she took a long time to come back.
The seven-year-old sister said she had no idea what was happening in there as she was waiting at the gate.
She told the police that the musician gave her some money to keep quiet.
Her mother said she is very disappointed with the services offered at the police.

“We were told that the child’s statement was not clear and they seem oblivious of her young age,” the mother said.
“We were told that she has to be taken to another place where she will give a clear statement. That makes sense.’’
‘‘We would really appreciate it if justice is served to our child. He (the suspect) should be questioned and if he denies the crime then he should tell us who did that within his house.’’
The musician is however denying the charges.
In a Facebook post this week, the artiste said the allegations were not true.
He is instead blaming one of his brothers.

“He is the one who did this. He plays with children and it was not me,” he said.
“The truth will come out to the surface and everybody will see that I am innocent.”

The artiste said his name had been dragged into the case by his rivals after he participated in First Lady ’Maesaia Thabane’s cancer campaign in Mokhotlong last month.
Meanwhile, a group of women calling themselves Total Shutdown Movement Lesotho went to the Mabote Police Station on Monday in support of the family and the girl.
They were dressed in red and black.

Their spokeswoman, ’Maseisa Molapo, said red signified the shed blood when the girl was raped while black meant that they were mourning as women because they were not satisfied with how rape cases were being handled.

‘‘It is high time that the vulnerable get assisted just like their counterparts,” Molapo said.
“The police are playing hide and seek because this case involves a person of high class,” she said.

“The fact that this woman does not have monetary power does not mean she deserves to be treated like this. We have been waiting here since 8am.”
Another member of the movement, Advocate Joang Jonase, said their presence was a show of ‘‘our support to the family of the victim.’’
Jonase complained that the police often act slowly and the victims of rape are questioned as though it is their fault.

‘‘We are here to show that we believe the victim and stand with them. We are continuously showing it by going to court with them,’’ Jonase said.
In a separate incident, a 33-year-old man is in police custody after he was suspected to have raped a four-year-old girl.
Police spokesman Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli said investigations had shown that the suspect raped the young girl three times and threatened to kill her if she reported the matter to anyone.
Mopeli said the suspect was living with the victim’s parent.

He said after being raped three times the little girl told a neighbour who reported the matter to the village chief.
He said the chief reported the matter to the police
“The man will appear before court once investigations have been completed,” Mopeli said, declining to reveal the suspect’s name.
Mopeli said cases of men who are sexually violate young children are on the rise.

He said in most cases such men claim that raping children cures AIDS.
A pastor and counselor, Phakiso Moleko, said the issue of men who are sexually attracted to toddlers is evil.
He said men are supposed to take care of the children instead of seeing a child as a sex object.“Those men are possessed by evil spirits,” he said.
He said everyone can have evil emotions but it is up to that person to act against such emotions.

’Mapule Motsopa and ’Makhotso Rakotsoane

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