MASERU — A two-year-old child who was allegedly sodomised on February 10 by a 15-year-old boy is so traumatised he is in urgent need of counselling and therapy, his distraught mother has said.
Although the suspect was arrested by Pitso Ground police on the day of the alleged crime, the victim is yet to receive any form of therapy nearly two weeks later.
Both the suspect and victim are from Sea-Point in Maseru but their names cannot be revealed because they are minors.
For ethical reasons this paper cannot also name the mother as it might give away the identities of both the victim and suspect.
Police spokesperson Masupha Masupha, who confirmed the incident on Tuesday, said the suspect had since been released into the custody of his parents.
“The 15-year-old suspect was taken to a juvenile court on February 12 but was released into his parents’ custody because there was no therapist (on the day of the trial),” he told the Sunday Express.
“That is all I can say on the matter at the moment.”
A therapist, according to a local legal expert, has to be available to interview and assess the state of mind of the juveniles involved in such cases and then make recommendations.
The mother of the victim said she could not afford private therapy for her son.
“I left my child playing outside our home on the morning of February 10 when I decided to rush to the shops,” she recalled.
“When I came back after about 30 minutes I couldn’t find my son anywhere.
“I started looking for him, calling out his name, but still couldn’t find him.
“Then I saw him coming out of the suspect’s home walking very slowly.
“I asked what the problem was and the suspect said my son had soiled himself.
“He said I shouldn’t worry about bathing the boy, because he had already cleaned him.
“But later, when I was bathing my son, I noticed some blood on the towel.
“I asked my son where the blood was coming from and he told me what the suspect had done to him.
“My initial reaction was he could have been hurt by something else because I never suspected someone could have sodomised him.”
She immediately took her son to a doctor who she said confirmed the little boy had been sodomised.
The suspect was arrested and then released into the custody of his parents, the victim’s mother said.
“We were told the case would continue when the therapist is back from sick leave,” she said.
“On February 15 I went back to Pitso Ground police and was told the therapist was still unavailable.
“I was told the other therapist was away in Cape Town and that there was nothing that could be done about the case.”
The mother is worried about the continued delay.
“I’m now deeply concerned because what he went through is now affecting him mentally,” she said.
“The fact that we live in the same neighbourhood with the suspect is making things worse.”