Saturday, January 23, 2021

Francistown alleged serial killers nabbed

Francistown Police have stumbled on what may be a gang of serial killers responsible for a spate of unsolved murder and robbery cases in the city.

A gang of three, whose members go by sobriquets such as “ Saddam” and “Gangster” and who are suspected to be behind a spate of unsolved murders in the city, was arrested last week following a mutiny in their ranks.

One of the gang members allegedly broke ranks following a disagreement with his colleagues and led police to shallow graves near Ntshe River where two of their suspected victims were buried.

The gang’s alleged reign of terror started unraveling three weeks ago after they were arrested in connection with the murder of Defence Force employee, Tshokodiso Plots, in Monarch Location.

An angry mob of Francistown residents gathered at the Francistown Magistrates court on Wednesday, baying for the blood of the three accused as they appeared for mention before Magistrate Thato Mujaji, forcing the police to sneak the trio through a back door.

The three, Thatayaone “Saddam” Malejwe (20), Kumbulani “Gangster” Matlapa (25) and Bashangani Boapotswe (22) were arrested in connection with the brutal murder the Botswana Defense Force employee.

The Sunday Standard investigations have revealed that one of the accused apparently handed himself over to the Francistown police a day after the murder and blew the whistle on his co-accused. But Francistown CID Chief, Aldrin Ntshitang, remains adamant that they were able to arrest the three after their own investigations. It has also emerged that the police found bloodied clothes at Matlapa’s house.

The clothes have since been taken to the government lab for forensic tests to establish if the blood on the clothes matches that of the deceased. It has emerged that Matlapa is on bail pending judgment on yet another murder case at the Lobatse High Court.

Sources close to the case have also revealed that a number of documents, including wallets, identity cards and drivers’ licenses have also been found at the accused’s residences.

The police are also said to have found a number of goods belonging to the deceased, among them a cell phone and a pair of shoes, in the possession of Gangster and Saddam. The two reportedly told the police that they had obtained the goods from the first accused, Bashangani Boapotswe, who denied any connection to the goods.

According to sources close to the case, the finger pointing and counter accusations gave the police their big break and opened a can of worms that would later lead to two other corpses. Two of the accused allegedly told the police that they had only attacked the deceased with the intention of robbing him and were surprised when the third accused produced a knife and stabbed him to death.

Seeing that he was being sold out by his colleagues, the alleged stabber then told the police of two other murders in which his colleagues were involved.

While Francistown CID Chief Ntshitang maintains ignorance of the developments, Monarch residents have revealed that the three accused led the police to the nearby Ntshe River where up to two corpses were dug up.

Meanwhile, Magistrate Thato Mujaji remanded the trio in custody saying that her court did not have jurisdiction to grant them bail. She advised them to approach the High Court if they wanted to be granted bail.


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