164 females and 185 males, mostly GBV cases
Three hundred and forty-nine murder (349) cases were registered by Botswana Police Service (BPS) between January and 31st March 2022, BPS records show that of the 349 people murdered, 164 were females while 185 were males. The most commonly used weapons were sharp instruments, particularly knives, firearms and hard objects.
BPS spokesman Near Bagali stated that it was established in their analysis that most of the murders were a result of Gender-Based Violence (GBV). “During the period under review, out of the murder cases recorded by the BPS, 128, which is 38 percent, were GBV-related, and most victims were men,” Bagali said.
Alcohol-related squabbles follow GBV as factors in murder
According to the police spokesman, other factors that contributed to the murders include alcohol-related misunderstandings arising mainly from drinking spots. “At times the perpetrators would be overly drunk and fail to exercise restraint when confronted by certain issues,” Bagali noted.
“Another cause is socially-related when people quarrel over issues relating to family, friends, and in some instances, it comes from greed when the perpetrator aims to gain advantage in the property of others.”
But while BPS registered 349 cases of murder, only 146 suspects were arrested in connection thereof. Bagali said most of these cases have been registered before the courts pending finalisation of investigations, which are at different stages.
Botswana has experienced shocking incidents of murder in recent years. Among the widely publicised cases is one of the gruesome murder of Mmonyi Semente whose decapitated body was found in Tlokweng in 2019. Badisa Simon Kgowe was eventually arrested as a suspect in connection with the case.
Murderer posted pictures of girlfriend’s lifeless body on social media
Another incident involved Francistown-based former police officer, Atlholang Mojanki, who was convicted for the brutal murder of his girlfriend, Bakani Socks. Mojanki was sentenced to death early this year.
A Tobane truck driver, Victor Koolopile, is facing murder charges as he is accused of murdering, Masego Gladys Sepotoke. The suspect allegedly posted pictures of her lifeless body on social media.
Lovemore Sithole is accused of the abduction and murder of his 6-year-old stepson, Tlotso Karema, in Lobatse. Sithole will appear before court on 27 July 2022.
Recently, former Kopong teacher, Barulaganyi Aston, whose death has all the hallmarks of a sacrificial killing for occult purposes was also murdered. Four suspects have recently appeared before court and were remanded in custody. These are the husband of the deceased Outlwile Aston, alleged hitman Oageng Moagi Letsholo, Lefty Gaolemogwe Kosie and Kebalebogetse Ntsebe.
Cape Town the murder capital of the world
While these figures were recorded only in three months by BPS, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has reported that by the end of 2019, Cape Town in South Africa topped the list as the murder capital of the world with 3,065 recorded homicides, followed by Tijuana in Mexico with 2,367 homicides.