Just when communities in an around Maun had thought they were recovering from numerous incidents of Satanism that rocked the entire Ngamiland District in the last three years, another notorious group going by the name Boko Haram has been working behind the scenes for its own formation. The group is now up and running and is believed to be extremely dangerous.
The group, made up of young men has since started its operations which have led to people fleeing their homes for their safety in Samedupe and Xhana settlements in the outskirts of Maun. As a result people have since fled their fields and gone back to Maun for safety.
This past Friday, two of the group’s members, Tebelelo Sapusu (the groups’ ring leader and founder) 27, and Tiroyaone Saokwa, 18, appeared before a packed Chanoga Customary Court to answer for their charges which also include, possession of dangerous weapons.
The two, acting together with two others who are still on the run and armed, are said to have entered some yard on the night of 3rd February and demanded to see the owner, Soono Thuthabuke, whom they accused of reporting one of their colleague to the police. And when Thathubuke and his wife did not respond, they are alleged to have tried to force open the door but failed.
“They were armed with an assortment of dangerous weapons. Soono feared for his life, and so he crept under the bed which his wife was sleeping on and stayed there overnight as he didn’t know what his attackers were planning to do next. The case was reported to us the following day and we managed to arrest the two, while two others are still at large”, said Inspector Bigani Mpindi of Botswana Police Service in Maun.
The confiscated weapons were produced before the courts as evidence.
They included 18 spears, metal rods machetes and slashers. Also presented before court was a pink and blue color flag which the unrepentant Tebelelo said was the group’s symbol to show that they are in existence. He said he was forced to form the group after he had himself been beaten up by a group of young boys. He said during the group’s formation, they also had women members, who have since fled as they were “faint hearted.”
“Some were our girlfriends, and so we have instructed them to pull out so that they focus on other matters. One of the guys who fled is more senior to me, and if he was here he was going to narrate more”, he said
The court was sent into stitches of laughter during sentencing, as Tebelelo opted for a 12 month prison term, instead of the eight months initiated by Kgosi Oatleng Sethodi, because in his view, it made no difference. The two were also to receive six lashes each. “I would rather go for the whole year because to me the remaining two months don’t make any difference,” he said.
After charging them with common nuisance, Kgosi Sethodi said the route chosen by the two lads is a very dangerous one, considering their age. However he said the leadership will go all out to ensure that the group is destroyed, adding; “Be warned that we are not going to tolerate such wayward behaviour. So go and tell your colleagues to also reconsider their actions because we are not going to look back and watch as you let drugs destroy you. In a customary court setup, we don’t address demonic issues, and so we are going to do things the traditional way and thrash you hard before you leave for prison, which will be your home for the next months”.
Meanwhile the police are still looking for some group members, and if apprehended, they will also appear before Kgosi Sethodi at Chanoga customary court.