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Repeat rapist faces life sentence

Sello Morake
MASERU — He was granted amnesty in December 2008.
He had served six years of his 10-year sentence for rape.
But he was not grateful.
On January 10, Tšepo Nkakala, 29, repeated the offence that put him behind bars.
Now he has been convicted again and a lengthy jail term beckons.
Nkakala last week pleaded guilty to raping his 21-year-old victim when he appeared before the Maseru magistrate’s court.
The name of the victim has been withheld to protect her identity.
In his summary judgment Maseru magistrate, Tšeliso Bale, said Nkakala deserved the maximum sentence for the offence.
“This second offence is similar to the one the accused committed in 2003, of which he served six years of a 10-year jail sentence,” Bale said.
He referred the case to the High Court for sentencing.
“I can only refer this matter to the High Court for appropriate sentence as the maximum sentence I can impose is 15 years in jail.
“A second offender must be sentenced to life, according to the law,” Bale said.
Public prosecutor, ‘Mamongonyo Baasii told the court that Nkakala was a beneficiary of an amnesty but had violated the conditions of his parole.
“The accused was released in December 2008 on what is called the Prime Minister’s amnesty.
“He was supposed to have completed his sentence in 2013. There were conditions that he should not commit a similar (offence) until June 13, 2010,” Baasii said.
The prosecution said Nkakala attacked the victim at her workplace after the complainant turned down his sexual advances.
“Nkakala approached the victim at the café where she was employed and proposed love to her.
“He persisted in proposing (love) to her but she continued ignoring him,” Baasii told the court.
Nkakala even resorted to extreme methods to win the complainant’s heart, the court heard.
He even slept on the floor next to the shop entrance as he persisted to push the complainant to accept his proposal.
“When he was confronted by concerned customers why he was behaving that way, Nkakala told them there was no problem.
“But he then went to lie on top of the counter after customers had left the café.
“He again told the victim that he loved her but she continued to ignore him,” Baasii said.
“The accused then vaulted to the other side of the counter where the complainant was sitting and attacked her, strangling her.
“From then on, the victim can’t recall what happened as she became unconscious.”
According to Baasii, the complainant later realised she had been raped after she regained consciousness.
“That was when she realised she was naked and felt pain in her genitals, which were covered in blood.
“In shock, she fled while still naked but someone stopped her and asked that she gets dressed so they could report the matter to the area chief and the police,” she said.
Nkakala pleaded guilty when he appeared in court last Friday.
Baasii asked the court to impose a harsh sentence saying the sentence should serve as a deterrent to perpetrators of sexual crimes.
Nkakala, who was sporting a bald head with a grey blanket draped over his shoulder, cut a lonely figure during the trial. His head was bowed most of the time but would frequently gaze outside the courtroom as if in a trance.
He was remanded in custody pending his appearance in the High Court.

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