- Suspects reveal how police killed suspect then declared him a fugitive
- Crushed family discovers the truth, “Deceased dumped into the bush/river”
- Deceased’s straying 10-year-old child tormented, says he sees Dad in the bush/river
The Botswana Police Service’s Molepolole based black operation torture practices have led to the untimely death of a burglary suspect, Olebile Kefitile. The “black op.” established to extract information from suspects by any means, declared Kefitile a fugitive after his death by engaging the media in a desperate state-cover-up-strategy, according to Kefitile’s co-suspects.
Investigations by this publication reveal that the incident occurred in 2010 when the Molepolole police officers (names withheld), some of whom have been demoted and transferred by the Police Service, tortured Kefitile to death according to his fellow suspects David Mosweu, Dimpho Lebakeng, Kaboyaone Motlhaope, Thuso Modise and Tlhoni Phane.
Seven years after the incident, skeletons are tumbling out of the closet as Kefitile’s fellow suspects reveal the state’s underhandedness and the torment they continue to endure as a result of their experiences. All the suspects were arrested in relation to burglary in Molepolole.
In a video clip compiled by Botswana Institute of Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Offenders, BIRRO-the Chairman of BIRRO, Mothei Sejakgomo, can be seen interviewing some of the witnesses to the incident. In the clip, one reveals that Kefitile had not fled from custody as claimed by the police in various newspapers. The interviewee claims that Kefitile had been tortured to death in their presence during their incarceration in 2010.
Kefitile, who was arrested on the 12th September 2010 was declared a fugitive immediately after his death and upon the release of his co-accused who were granted bail around the same time. Currently Kefitile’s name is still displayed in the police offices around the country as a fugitive, despite assertions to the contrary.
“Kefitile was dragged away from us motionless, dipped head and bleeding from the nose after he was hit with a hand gun six times on the back of the neck. We are not doctors but we could see that he was gone. We were shocked to learn from newspapers that he had ran away,” revealed one former suspect (name withheld).
“The police officer (name withheld) kept on grabbing Kefitile’s genitalia and said I will press your balls until your mother hears them blasting from home,” the witness reveals in the video.
BIRRO chairperson, Sejakgomo confirmed to this publication that the video was compiled this month and will form part of their investigations and evidence on police brutality and underhandedness. “Police officers exist to provide protection of life and preserve public peace and if they take that away from the public then we may as well say we are better off without them. This in a nutshell is a harrowing story of police brutality and it is sad because it depicts reality and a lot of cases which have not found light,” he said.
Sejakgomo said criminals should be rehabilitated and not killed, “We do not condone delinquent acts and it is disappointing that it is the youth who do this but to kill them and lie to the nation and families is not a solution,” he added.
Family crushed by police brutality, lies
In an interview with this publication in Tlokweng, a teary Tebogo Kefitile (63) who is the ‘deceased’s’ mother says she lives with constant tears and false hopes, “Everyday is torture in my heart, I wake up to tears and for the past seven years life has been like that. I have as a result attracted all sorts of heart-related diseases and now consume countless pills daily. The police in 2010 told me that my son had escaped from custody but I am surprised that he is not coming back and all his co-accused are now free, it has been seven years now,” she said.
She conveys a harrowing story, “I long suspected that something was wrong from the police’s dishonest dealings, sometimes they will call me and say they are on their way to speak to me but later call back and say they got lost on the way and drove back. What kind of police officers do that?” she added, saying “they grouped themselves as the family” to seek answers from Molepolole police station but once there they were told all sorts of “depressing fairy-tales”.
“I just want to see my son’s bones for closure-is that begging for too much, I told them in one telephone call that I would not mind or sue anybody, I just want to have peace and bury him,” she said before breaking down in tears.
For her part, Kefitile’s once girlfriend, Masego Amos (34) says she has “kept all the documentary evidence of police lies” and adds that her pain is exacerbated by her son who was fathered by the ‘deceased’. “We are living in hell, our son regularly strays into the bush and comes back after a long search, when I ask him about where he has been he says he has “been with his father” in the bush at the river,” she said.
“We have taken him to churches and prophets are saying he is tormented by his father’s wandering spirit following his cold blood death. We don’t know who to believe, we just want the truth from the police,” she added.
Police Spokesperson, Witness Boseja on Friday promised to follow up the issue but has not provided feedback to this publication. A reminder yesterday (Monday) did not bear fruit as he said he was still making follow-ups on requests by The Botswana Gazette. The Police Commissioner, Keabetswe Makgophe, declined to answer questions and referred this publication to his public relations unit when pressed for an appointment. The family on Monday said they had registered their harrowing story with the commissioner’s office.
The incident follows various mysterious cases including the murder of John Kalafatis and the mysterious death of Italy Setlampoloka and Tumisang Ntshabele of Mochudi. The latter died after he was run over by a police vehicle during a pursuit. In recent years there has been a public outcry over killings of suspects at the hands of law enforcement officers such as the Botswana Police, Botswana Defence Force and Directorate on Intelligence and Security.
In 2009 the Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Dikgakgamatso Seretse told parliament that there was no need to set up an independent inquiry to investigate the extra-judicial killings by state security forces.
He was responding to a question by then Gaborone South MP, Akanyang Magama. The MP had asked whether the increasing number of extra-judicial killing of suspects by state security did not necessitate an independent inquiry to restore confidence in the law enforcement agencies.
“I do not see the need to set up an independent inquiry as a measure to restore confidence of the public in the law enforcement agencies in view of the alleged extra-judicial killings. If there has been a drop-in confidence, it is not due to the alleged extra-judicial killings but it is due to the general increase in the rate of crime,” Seretse replied.
“Furthermore, I do not doubt the integrity and impartiality of the Botswana Police Service to investigate every case before them,” he added. The minister said that the police have different units through which they can investigate every case including those involving their colleagues. He said that other countries have similar arrangements.