THE majority of inmates incarcerated at the Quthing Correctional Institution are sex offenders, the Lesotho Correctional Services (LCS) has said.
LCS public relations officer, Senior Cadet Officer Pheko Ntobane, told the Sunday Express that most of the inmates were from the Dilli-Dilli and Mphaki areas where sexual offences were rife.
Most of the sexual offences were also caused by the rampant alcohol abuse in the district, he said.
“Areas like Dilli-Dilli and Mphaki in Quthing have the highest sexual offences in the district,” SCO Ntobane said.
“Although the figures are not readily available, we have established that most of the sexual offences occur as a result of substance abuse. In most cases, both the offenders and the victims would have taken highly potent alcoholic home brews.
“In some instances, men buy women alcohol expecting sexual favours in return and when they are turned down, they resort to raping the women.”
Communities in Quthing have generally accepted alcohol abuse as a norm and younger people were simply following in the footsteps of their elders, he said.
“Substance abuse has become more of a lifestyle in Quthing. When the society lives in a certain way, children adopt to the same route because they believe it is the right way.”
During a recent United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) field trip in Quthing, it was also revealed that alcohol abuse and the resultant sexual violence were also the key attributes for teenage and unplanned pregnancies.
Quthing District Hospital public health nurse, ‘Mateboho Mothupi said forced sex was the major cause for unplanned pregnancies.
“There are also numerous forced marriages as well as sexual offences so much that most crimes are sexual offences or rape related,” Ms Mothupi said.