complainant is under the age of 16, the carnal connection with her is statutory offence under the provisions of section 3 (1) of the Women and Girls Protection Proclamation (No. 14 of 1949), sometimes labelled 'statutory rape/ In that event consent is immaterial “. The accused who was not legally represented at the trial pleaded guilty to the charge and after the public prosecutor had outlined the facts disclosed by the evidence in his possession which were confirmed as true by the accused, the learned magistrate brought in a verdict of "guilty as charged." In the case of Rex vs Sechaba Oatu. 1991 96 (2) LLR 1332, the accused had been charged with rape (of a girl aged 8) and alternatively with having contravened section 3 (1) of the Proclamation 14 of 1949 and my brother Ramodibedi A J. as he then was, held that the courts do not approve of a verdict in terms "guilty as charged" in a case where the accused person is charged in the alternative and that the trial court must always determine which offence the accused is found guilty of and state so in clear and unambiguous terms in the interests of justice and certainty. In the present case however the accused was charged with common law rape and there was no alternative charge under the Proclamation. According to the facts as outlined to the court by the public prosecutor in terms of Section 240 (1) (b) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act of 1981, the accused is a mosotho adult aged 35 years. On the 21" September 1997, the complainant – Tlotlisang Morabaki - then aged 9 years and her friend Lineo Maketsi were collecting vegetables in the yard of one Mafitoro Monyane. The accused, who is a well-known resident of the village arrived and invited the complainant to go and collect sepaile vegetables in his garden. The accused thereupon accompanied the young complainant leaving Lineo behind. The accused then invited the complainant to go into his house promising her money and some mealie meal. After the complainant had entered, the accused closed the door and ordered her to go down and took her panty off and got out

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