MASERU — A 32-year-old taxi driver appeared in court on Tuesday to answer a charge of rape. Mpalipali Masupha is being accused of raping a 10-year-old passenger on November 27, 2011. Masupha, pleaded not guilty to the charge when he appeared before Chief Magistrate ’Matankiso Nthunya.
The court heard that the girl had visited her aunt in Khubetsoana and later boarded a taxi commonly referred to as a 4+1 to return to her home in Naleli at around 12.30pm. However, the girl failed to arrive home within the expected time. The girl’s mother told the court that the driver finally arrived with her daughter at around 4pm.
“As my child alighted from the taxi I saw that she was almost in tears. I asked the driver his name and he told me that he was Masupha,” the mother said. “I also requested his cell phone number and thanked him for bringing my child home.”
The mother said Masupha apologised for bringing her daughter home late claiming he was still ferrying other passengers to their destinations.
She told the court that when she confronted her daughter, the girl burst into tears.
She said her daughter told her that “ntate oa 4+1 (the cab driver) did unpleasant things to me”. The mother told the court that she understood her daughter’s words to mean she had been sexually abused. She said she then asked her daughter to undress.
“When I looked at her panty I noticed that it was stained with blood and I immediately phoned my sister,” the witness testified. She said she then reported the matter to Mabote police station. The police later asked the mother to take their daughter for a medical examination at a local hospital.
Masupha was immediately arrested The court will hear the medical doctor’s evidence tomorrow.
Advocate Letuka Molati appeared for Masupha.