Monday, June 5, 2023

Alleged ritual murderers divide rural village

Tension is brewing in Etsha Village following a ritual murder incident that has already divided the village after two deaths.

Investigations by The Sunday Standard when we visited the village indicate that some of the ritual murder cases in and around Gumare area are often not reported to the police and police hardly make breakthroughs on those that are reported.
The police, however, say that residents don’t forward any information to them that would speed up their investigations.

In the recent incident, Hunkura Makhwazo was allegedly brutally attacked by unknown assailants who, during the attack, removed his tongue, eyes, part of the month as well as some teeth.

It is understood that the 69-year-old deceased was allegedly ritually murdered in his sleep on the night of Wednesday 2 March this year.

The deceased was reportedly found in a pool of blood in the early hours of Thursday and was rushed to Gumare Hospital where he spent only a few hours in the intensive care unit and died.

Before he died, the deceased reportedly told his relatives about the culprits who had attacked him and they, in turn, passed the information to the police.

On the other hand, the police say they do not have any clue who exactly committed the crime.

Makhwazo’s daughter, Mosotsa Hungura, told the Sunday Standard that she was phoned by the relatives to rush home because her father had been brutally murdered.
She confirmed that her father was attacked during the night and his tongue completely cut out, eyes removed and part of his mouth and teeth removed.
Hungura claimed that such killings terrorize the villagers and that nobody cares to assist them.

In an interview with Sunday Standard, the deceased’s nephew, Kangumbi, rubbished police claims of villagers not assisting them with information.
“The police are dragging their feet on cracking the case because we have provided them with information that would lead them to the suspects,” she said.

With tears pouring on her face, Kangumbi said the only thing that would make her happy was for the culprits to be prosecuted and hanged by the government and that would bring closure even though that would not bring back her uncle.

Another relative, Motswagole Kashnya, said, “The criminal investigation team came and we followed unknown bloodstained footsteps but along the way the footsteps disappeared into the bush.”

He also shared the same sentiments with Kangumbi that the police are not doing enough to arrest the culprits.
He claimed that Etsha is known for such incidents but nothing is being done about it.

Joseph Seemeko, the headman of the village, said that after he heard about the incident two days later, he called a kgotla meeting which was well attended by the villagers.
He said the main reason he called the meeting was to try and lower tension which was building up among the residents.
Even though Seemeko was diplomatic, he believed that the police would do their best to arrest the culprits.
But he poured water on allegations that his village is known for ritual killings.
“I want to warn those who cause chaos in the village that they will face the music.”

The Officer Commanding Maun, Senior Superintendent Rebort Masibi, told Sunday Standard this week that they are appealing to the members of the public to assist them with information that would lead to the arrest of the culprits.
He said they strongly believed that there was foul play that led to Makhwazo’s death, adding that they were waiting for the autopsy report that would confirm the cause of death.

Masibi said since he arrived in the area this case is the first of its kind.
He dismissed the grieving family’s allegations leveled against the police saying, “We are doing our best to crack the case and we are not withholding anything from the grieving family.”


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