A TSOAPO-LE-BOLILA man, Thabo Mpiti, will spend the next decade behind bars for raping his lover’s 12-year-old daughter.
Mpiti (30) pleaded guilty to abusing the girl on the night of 27 October 2014 when he appeared before the Maseru Magistrate’s Court last Thursday.
According to evidence presented before the court by Prosecutor Pontšo Jankie, Mpiti threatened the girl that if she refused to have sex with him, he would force her to drink a poisonous chemical used by farmers to kill worms and other pests.
Ms Jankie further told the court that the victim felt threatened due to her tender age, resulting in the abuse. According to Ms Jankie, the victim could not cry out for help because she was fearing for her life.
The prosecutor further told the court that the victim reported the rape to one of her relatives on the same night of the abuse, who then informed the girl’s grandmother.
However, Ms Jankie said the grandmother indicated she could only come the following day, prompting neighbours to take the accused to the chief, and then the police.
In her ruling, Magistrate Nthabiseng Moopisa-Motelane did not give Mpiti an option to pay a fine to gain his freedom, which means he will be serving an effective 10 years in jail.
Forum brainstorms tourism challenges
LESOTHO Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC) Chief Executive Officer, Mpaiphele Maqutu, says there is need to put certain regulations in place if the country is to realise more revenue from the tourism sector.
Speaking during a Tour Operation Business Opportunity Forum held at the State Library in Maseru on Thursday, Mr Maqutu said, among other undesirable practices, tourists bring “everything” when they visit Lesotho including food, thereby depriving the country of much-needed revenue.
“Tourists come here in their huge bus and bring their own food. After they leave our country, we are left with nothing but a littered environment,” Mr Maqutu said.
“We are not benefitting as much as we are supposed to from tourists, yet they enter Lesotho in huge numbers on a daily basis. We need to ensure there are regulations in place that do not allow such practices because we should be realising far more revenue from the tourism industry than we are at the moment.”
Meanwhile, Mr Maqutu also told the tour-operators that the forum was meant to provide them with a platform to share ideas about opportunities within the tourism sector.
“We invited people who would like to be tour operators and those already in the business so you can share ideas.
“For instance, we were approached by a representative of the Lesotho Freight and Bus Services Corporation (LFBSC), who told us that the company was interested in venturing into the tourism sector.
“The rep told me that the company planned to rent you cars, which would make your jobs easier as I know, indeed, that some people would want to start their own tour businesses but lack the necessary capital. Even those who have already started have a challenge of possessing few cars, which is hampering their businesses.”
In response, the tour operators said one of their biggest challenges was not being recognised by the tourists, who prefer to bring their own operators mostly from South Africa.
The absence of laws recognising their business was also impacting negatively on their operations, the tour operators further said.
The enactment of such legislation would do away with unsavoury practices such as tourists bringing their own food and operators into the country, the operators also noted.