Mother tries to buy son’s rape victim into silence

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MASERU — A woman from Ha Makhalanyane is alleged to have paid M500 in hush money to silence a woman who had been raped by her 32-year-old son.

The Maseru Magistrate’s Court heard how the unnamed woman and a friend only identified as ‘Masehloho offered the rape victim the money on 11 April to protect her son Hlabathe Joala.

Joala had assaulted the woman the previous night, dragged her to his home before raping her five times throughout the night, the court heard on Monday.

He pleaded guilty to contravening the Sexual Offences Act of 2003.

Magistrate ‘Makopano Taole reserved judgment to May 2.

“At around 4am the accused let her go. The complainant later reported the incident to one ‘Masehloho and the accused’s mother, who gave her M500 as compensation,” the prosecution said.

The victim rejected the money and reported the matter to the police resulting in Joala’s arrest.

Public prosecutor Mariam Seatile told the court that Joala was drinking beer with the victim (name withheld) and other villagers at a local homestead on the night of April 10 when he took advantage of the victim’s toilet break.

He followed her to the toilet and hit her twice, resulting in blood oozing from her face, the prosecutor said.

The accused then dragged the woman to his house despite her screams and sexually assaulted her.He only released her after nine hours, the court heard.

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