MASERU — A man was last Sunday beaten to death by an angry village mob in Motimposo that suspected him of raping his “lover’s” 11-year-old daughter.
Police spokesperson Pheello Mphana confirmed both the death and the rape.
He said the deceased was only identified as Thabo who was staying in Koalabata on the outskirts of the capital.
“He died at Queen Elizabeth II Hospital after being beaten by Motimposo villagers on Sunday,” Mphana said.
He added that police had been informed that Thabo was suspected of having an affair with the victim’s mother.
Mphana said the deceased’s body was still at the police’s mortuary because they were still looking for his next of kin.
“We are appealing to the relatives of the deceased to come forward to identify the body,” Mphana said.
He said police believed the deceased was aged between 25 and 30.
Neighbours who were part of the mob but refused to be named said the rape victim was sleeping together with her younger sister when Thabo allegedly entered their room and sexually assaulted her.
A neighbour said at around 1am she heard the children screaming for help and a man’s voice threatening to kill them.
She claimed that when she, together with other villagers, rushed to rescue the children Thabo refused to come out of the house.
“He did not want to come out of the house and we called other villagers for help,” she said when the Sunday Express visited the village on Wednesday.
And when he finally came out of the house Thabo allegedly told the crowd that had gathered outside that he had raped the little girl because he could not find her mother who was his lover.
“He said he had come to see the girls’ mother, who he claimed to be his lover,” another neighbour said.
“The man admitted he had raped the girl.”
Thabo is alleged to have said that he had failed to “control” his feelings when he found his lover not at home.
“This so much angered the villagers and they started assaulting him,” the neighbour said.
Four other villagers who were part of the crowd that beat Thabo also confirmed the incident.
Another neighbour said the police arrived around 10am on Sunday and took a badly injured Thabo to Queen Elizabeth II Hospital where he later died.
The neighbour said the rape victim told some of the people that had come to her rescue that “she had seen the man with her mother before”.
According to the neighbour, the victim’s mother (name supplied) had been away from home for some time as she was now staying in Maseru East with her “new husband”.
The neighbours, meanwhile, said they took the girl to Queen Elizabeth II Hospital where a doctor confirmed she had been raped.
The victim’s mother confirmed to the Sunday Express that she had left her daughters alone but had intended returning home the same day.
The woman’s name is known to this paper but has been withheld to protect her daughter’s identity.
She denied having been Thabo’s lover, insisting they had once been workmates.
“I had visited my lover in Maseru East and never thought I would fail to get back home the same day,” she said.
“But it’s not true that I was having an affair with this man. We were once workmates and that’s all.”
She said her daughter was traumatised by the rape.
“She no longer plays with others the way she used to,” the mother said.
“She is always by herself now and she is even having nightmares and finding it hard to sleep.”
The little girl, she added, spent the whole of Tuesday without eating anything, complaining she had stomach pains.
“I have learnt my lesson and I will not allow it to happen again,” she said.
“I will make sure I stay with my children all the time.”