IN THE HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
In the Appeal of :
MOTHONYANA RALETING Appellant
REASONS FOR JUDGMENT
Appellant in Person
Mr. Khauoe for the Crown.
Delivered by the Hon. Mr. Justice F.X. Rooney
on the 6th day of July, 1982.
On the 4th June, 1982, I dismissed this appeal
and I increased sentence passed upon the appellant.
I now give my reasons.
The appellant, who is a youth of 18 years,
was convicted by Mr. G.H. Mphafi of the crime of rape.
Although he appealled to this Court against his
conviction, I am satisfied that his appeal was without
merit. That magistrate had before him substantial
evidence indicating the guilt of the appellant.
The appellant is one of a gang of three youths
who on the 23rd of January, 1982 waylaid and set upon
the complainant, a girl of 18. She was raped by all
three men in broad daylight. A man who saw what was
happening did not come to the unfortunate girl's
rescue because he feared her assailants. Medical
evidence confirmed the complainant was a virgin before she
In passing sentence, the magistrate took into
account that the appellant was a first offender but he
added : "The mode he perpetrated this rape was
barbaric and showed disrespect of
He went on
"Other considerations are that in my
only two months stationed in Mafeteng
district, I have presided over five
rape cases committed by the youths of
this district mostly in the same
disrespectful manner as the appellant.
As a deterent and stoppage of rapists
rampage severe sentences will have to be
I agree with the magistrate that this was a
shocking case and I am surprised that he considered
18 months imprisonment a sufficient punishment in the
circumstances. There should be no doubt as to where
the courts stand in the matter of rape. It is a
serious crime. In extreme cases the High Court has
power to impose the death penalty upon a convicted
offender. Young men who commit rape should not imagine
that the courts will be indulgent to them on account
of their youth. If the crime is committed in like
circumstances/those revealed by this case they can
expect no mercy. For these reasons, I took the view
that the magistrate's sentence was far too lenient
and was inadequate to bring home to the appellant
and others of his kind the gravity of their conduct.
I therefore increased the sentence to one of
three years imprisonment.
6th July, 1982.
Attorney for the Crown : The Law Office.
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