- 164 females and 185 males, mostly GBV cases
Three hundred and forty murder cases involving 349 victims were registered by Botswana Police Service (BPS) between January 2021 and 31st March 2022, The Botswana Gazette has established.
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, but firearms and hard objects were also used.
Responding to Gazette inquiries, BPS spokesman Near Bagali stated that their analysis has established 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 overdrunk and fail to exercise restraint when confronted by certain issues, Bagali noted.
Another cause is socially-related when people quarrel over issues of 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 people were arrested in connection with them. Bagali said most of the cases have been registered before the courts pending finalization of investigations that are at different stages.
Botswana has experienced shocking incidents of murder in recent years. Among widely publicized cases was one of the gruesome murder of Mmonyi Semente whose decapitated body was found in Tlokweng in 2019. The Badisa Simon Kgowe was eventually arrested as a suspect in connection with the case.
Murderer posted pictures of girlfriends lifeless body on social media
Another incident involved former Francistown-based police officer, Atlholang Mojanki, who 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 arising from the brutal slaying of his girlfriend, Masego Gladys Sepotoke. The suspect allegedly posted pictures of her lifeless body on social media afterwards.
A recent incident was the arraignment of Lovemore Sithole who is accused of the abduction and murder of his 6-year-old stepson, Tlotso Karema, in Lobatse.
The latest case so far involved the ghastly slaying of former Kopong teacher, Barulaganyi Aston, whose death has all the hallmarks of a sacrificial killing for occult purposes. Four murder suspects have recently appeared before the court and were remanded in custody. These include the husband of the deceased Outlwile Aston, alleged hitman Oageng Moagi Letsholo, Leufty Gaolemogwe Kosie and Kebalebogetse Ntsebe.
Cape Town the murder capital of the world
While these figures were recorded within 15 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 at 2,367 homicides.
NOTE: This story has been updated to capture the correct figures and accurate data.