The Public Relations Officer of the Botswana Police Service (BPS), Christopher Mbulawa, says that they are worried about the increasing numbers of officers who have been interdicted from service because of having committed criminal offences.
Speaking in an interview with The Telegraph, Mbulawa said that between January and September this year, 46 police officers have been interdicted.
He said of these, 30 committed criminal offences, 15 disciplinary offences whilst one had committed a traffic related offence.
Mbulawa said one officer has already been dismissed from work whilst the other 45 are still being dealt with.
Asked if he does not think police officers who are facing murder charges for the deaths of suspects during police investigations is caused by poor training, Mbulawa denied this could be as a result of bad training.
“I will say its maybe because of negligence and not poor training. Our officers are given the best training available; it’s only that some at times become negligent in their work, resulting in deaths of suspects,” he said.
On officers who have committed crimes such as stealing or receiving bribes, Mbulawa said, “This is very unfortunate but you must remember that they are people from our society and not from heaven; some will be tempted to commit crimes as they are humans.”
Amongst the officers currently on interdiction are Modiriedi Modise, Montshwari Ramatebele and Gontse Mungundu who are charged with manslaughter.
They are alleged to have murdered David Monggae.
They were initially charged with murder but the state later made an application for the charge to be changed to manslaughter, admitting that the injuries that had resulted with the deceased’s death occurred whilst there was a scuffle between him and the police as the police were trying to handcuff him.
Four other police officers, Rantao Mmeleki, Tebogo Khutsafalo, Kabo Ramohibidu and Patrick Gobotswana have also been interdicted for the killing of Kedirile Setlampoloka who was suspected of having committed crimes.
Tirafalo Motswasele is also on interdiction following the murder of his girl friend, Tshegofatso Phelelo.
Two Maun Police officers, Liberty Matikati and Gammu Masole, have been interdicted for having allegedly stolen P500, 000 belonging to the North West District Council, whilst they were escorting the money to revenue.
Of all officers who have been interdicted, David Williams has been on interdiction for the longest time of close to ten years. He is alleged to have stolen money whilst working as a paying officer. His case has now been adjourned for more than three years.
Mbulawa confirmed that Williams was still on interdiction and added that there was nothing they could do about that as the case was still before the Courts.