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Crime in 2012

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As the curtain falls on 2012, there is no respite for the police and other law enforcement agencies as crime continues on an upward trend. BOPA looks at some of the most interesting crime files from 2012.

The Phase IV cases

 The gruesome murder of 17-year-old Tshepang Motlhabane, who was a Form Five Student at St. Josephs' College in November by a former Botho College student Thabo Masilo remains imprinted in the minds of many.

Motlhabane, who hailed from Mabeleapudi, had just arrived from school after writing her last final examinations paper, when Masilo showed up at her parent's house in Phase IV. He raped her, then murdered her in her mother's bedroom before hiding in the ceiling, according to the police. However, he could not endure the itching from the fiberglass in the ceiling was forced to emerge from the ceiling whereupon security officers arrested him.

His case has attracted much rage and in two of his court appearances, angry placard carrying students from St. Joseph's College and the general public have bayed for his blood, so much so that the court had to extend his bail for his own safety. He is facing six counts ranging from murder, rape, armed robbery, robbery, indecent assault, stealing from a dwelling house and theft.

Another case Phase IV case that has drawn anger from the public is that of three men who have been charged with the brutal slaying of Rejoice Kaketso who was a nurse at Molepolole Scottish Livingstone Hospital. The suspects in the murder are Emmanuel Willie, Moagisi Mosepele and Odirile Seiketso. The men allegedly killed Koketso, who hailed from Matobo Village in the Central District, shortly after she disembarked from a taxi from work. The men's case is yet to be committed to the High Court for trial.

Bakgatla and the wrath of the law

The case in which Bakgatla royals and some tribesmen were charged with the destruction of a Mascom tower finally came to a close as the court handed suspended sentences to the men. Amongst those sentenced were former President of the Customary Court of Appeal, Mothibe Linchwe and Bakgatla Deputy Chief, Bana Sekai. However, Linchwe pleaded with the president for leniency and it was granted.

Meanwhile, Bakgatla kgosikgolo, Kgafela II left for South Africa following the protracted case gainst him and some of his tribesmen for the flogging of people in Kgatleng and escaping from lawful custody. He has reportedly relocated to Moruleng in South Africa. A warrant of his arrest has long been issued even though government is seeking alternative ways of solving the dispute.

The soldiers and presidential pardon

In June President Lt. General Seretse Khama Ian Khama extended his Presidential pardon to three soldiers who were sentenced to 11 years imprisonment for the killing of John Kalafatis in 2009. The trio Gothusamang Sechele, Boitshoko Maifala and Ronney Motako have already retuned to their work. 

Victory for Seretse and Matambo

Two Cabinet ministers Dikgakgamatso Seretse of Defence, Justice and Security and Kenneth Matambo of Finance and Development Planning were cleared of corruption charges after the courts dismissed charges against them.

Seretse was accused of allegedly failing to disclose his interest to the President when his company, RFT Botswana had  business dealings with the Botswana Police Service, a department which directly fell under his ministry.

Matambo was facing a single count of corruption. The state had alleged that he had an indirect interest and failed to disclose this interest when the Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) which he previously headed as  managing director, proposed to deal with Tuwana Construction Company. The prosecution agued that Matambo had once contracted Tuwana to build his house in Extension 9.

The collapse of the charges against the two ministers followed a successful application by the defence that the charge sheet did not disclose any offence.

...and Vincent Seretse waits

However, the year saw the Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Vincent Seretse charged with two counts of corruption and abuse of office.

It is alleged that in February 2008, while under the employ of Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) as CEO, Seretse failed to disclose the nature of his interest in Serala, a company owned by one of his co-accused Paul Paledi, and participated in the proceedings of the BTC board in the awarding of a tender to the said company.

This, the charge sheet states, he did whilst a referee of the said Serala.

On the charge of abuse of office, the state alleges that in March of the same year, knowingly and without lawful authority, Seretse directed that eight BTC employees be recruited to offer their services to Serala by supplying the company with their curriculum vitae whilst they were still BTC employees.

Molepolole murder

In one of the bizarre incidents, about 10 police officers underwent counselling following an August shooting in Molepolole during which a sub inspector working under anti stock theft unit shot his senior at the police district offices.

After killing his inspector colleague, the killer drove to the police station allegedly looking for another wouldbe victim. When he could not find him, he shot himself. The pandemonium, which lasted for almost 30 minutes, traumatised at least 10 officers, who had to undergo counselling for critical incident stress debrief. At the time the killer was under investigation for financial embezzlement.

Family feud ends in death

In Serowe, a 56 year-old former Botswana Defence Force (BDF) soldier from Mogorosi shot and killed a woman before turning the gun on himself.  He also injured two of his relatives. The incident started at the lands where the deceased shot and killed his uncle's wife and shot his brother on the leg. He then followed his injured brother to the kgotla and shot two kgotla officers before turning the gun on the aunt and injuring her in the process. The gunman also burnt two houses belonging to his relatives. Investigations revealed that conflict emanated from dispute over inherited property.

Death row inmates

There are currently five (5) convicts in the death row. These are Thwaafalo Tlhwaafalo of Dutlwe, Modise Tlhokamolemo Letlhakane, Abote Batsietsi of Moletemane and Samson Sarefu of Maun.

There were two executions of Zibane Thamo and Gotlhalosamang Gabaakelwe. Thamo was sentenced to death by the Francistown High Court for the killing of his girlfriend Sihle Dube. 

Other murder cases pending before court are that involving Shathani Bulayani and Oakantse Modisagape in the infamous Block Three murder case of their child Nathaniel Bulayani. The case has been committed to the High Court. Nathaniel was a standard seven pupil at Itumeleng primary school. After the alleged killing, Shathani and Modisagape allegedly dumped the boy in a trench behind their yard in Block Three.

Armed robbery

The armed robbery case against Agisanyang Makopo of Mogobane, Bampoloki Kgangpetsa of Molepolole, Golwelang Efedile of Mmopane Joseph Gaiei continues before court. The men have been charged with the robbery of Sebele Filling Station at gun point in February.

Horrifying accidents

The most horrific and traumatising fatal accident this year was that of the Jwaneng Mine slope failure which stopped the mining activities for almost six weeks.  An employee of the mine Mr Motshwari Raseiteo of Heryford Village in Kgalagadi South died as the mine caved in.

On the other hand, road accidents continue to claim more lives as compared to previous years. The police have come up with programmes to address the problem of drunken driving which is one of the main causes of fatal accidents in Botswana. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Thamani Shabani

Location : Gaborone

Event : Crime overview

Date : Jan 03 Thu,2013

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