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Sex slavery suspect arrested

victimTsitsi Matope

A 56-year-old Semphetenyane businessman accused of detaining and sexually assaulting a 20-year-old woman from Nazareth was arrested on Friday last week.

The Sunday Express last weekend broke the story of the suspected case of abduction and sex-slavery involving the man who runs a taxi and brickmaking business.

However, the case could not be formally heard when it was brought before the Maseru Magistrate’s Court on Monday (March 24) due to conflicting evidence.

According to the Officer Commanding Lithoteng Police, Senior Inspector Chadwick Sehloho, the prosecution advised more details and evidence should be gathered to ensure a solid case.

“We are further analysing the evidence presented to us to ensure we take care of areas where there have been some inconsistencies as to the statements made by both the suspect and the woman involved. We hope by the end of next week, we would have come up with the correct charges and ironed out outstanding issues surrounding this case,” Sehloho said, adding the suspect is currently out of custody.

The police arrested the businessman after the woman claimed a friend tricked her into coming to Maseru under the pretext she had secured a job for her as a domestic worker.

However, upon arrival at the businessman’s home in Semphetenyane, the 20-year-old said she found out she had reportedly been recruited to become a sex-slave to the widowed entrepreneur.

The young woman, who is now two-months pregnant and currently receiving treatment for a sexually transmitted infection, reported the case to the police when the suspect chased her away on Friday March 14.

But in an interview with the Sunday Express, the businessman claimed he did not enslave the woman as she claims but was only looking for someone to marry and had even approached her family.
“I am just a widower who wanted someone to marry and when I heard about her, I thought I had finally found someone to share my life with after my wife was shot dead in 2004 . . . I had even informed her family about my good intentions,” the man told the Sunday Express at the Lithoteng Police Station on March 20.

The man denied ever abusing the woman, whom he now accuses of “using” him.
“She only wanted my money and thought I would just keep dishing it out when she did not respect me at all and never acted like a woman who was ready for marriage,” the entrepreneur told the Sunday Express.

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