- Uncle of deceased says they are convinced his niece committed suicide
- Police blame social media for spreading allegations against them
A representative of the family of Pedzani Keneilwe Mosala, who allegedly committed suicide in a cell at Kutlwano Police Station in Francistown, has absolved the police of blame in the death of his niece.
The representative, Baagi Dintwa, has dismissed allegations that sought to link Botswana Police Service (BPS) to the death of Mosala.
The case grabbed the attention of the public and sparked controversy around the death of 22-year old Mosala of Bobonong recently.
In an interview with The Botswana Gazette in the midst of the public outcry, Dintwa said he was also initially incredulous about his niece having committed suicide in a police station cell but has now ruled out any foul play after visiting the scene of the incident and seeing the post-mortem report.
“I was initially skeptical when called to Kutlwano Police Station,” he said. “However, I was eventually taken to the scene and shown everything. The police were so transparent about what must have led to the death of my niece.
“In view of my incredulity, the doctors called us in as the family of the deceased to see the corpse even before the post-mortem was conducted. Thereafter the results confirmed beyond any reasonable doubt that my niece hanged herself.”
According to Dintwa, the deceased left her Zimbabwean cellmate quietly and went to the bathroom where she allegedly went on to suicide.
Her cellmate then became suspicious when she heard an unusual sound emanating from the direction of the bathroom but could not go to investigate because the door in and out of the cell was locked.
“She said she tried to raise the alarm by banging on the door but no one came,” Dintwa said. “The police eventually came late at night and found the deceased already dead.”
Reached for comment, BPS spokesperson Near Bagali blamed people who made allegations against the police in the death of Mosala on social media.
“It is worth noting that there was a theft common case opened against the deceased and we had an obligation to investigate, and if need be, to detain the suspect,” he said.
“We had detained Mosala but unfortunately she committed suicide in the cell. We have been so transparent to the family to prove that we had nothing to do with her death.
“Even the post-mortem proved beyond reasonable doubt that indeed the deceased hanged herself.”
This is not the first time that police in Francistown have been embroiled in such controversy.
Keabetswe Tony Nyambe died in the holding cells of Francistown Central Police Station last year where he had been detained as a suspect in the murder of his own children.
Olefile Moiphitlhi, who was linked to a robbery in Molepolole died mysteriously in 2012, and Zenzo Sibanda, a Zimbabwean, also died in police custody in Senyawe village back in 2011.