Maun Police are questioning a 26-year-old Maun Technical College student from Mochudi, who on the early hours of July 18, allegedly attempted to kill his 32-year-old girlfriend from Shoshong, also a student at the college.
Assistant Superintendent Borefeletse Papane said the male student allegedly woke up his girlfriend at around 1.30 am and offered to prepare her a nice meal which they would both enjoy as lovers.
It was then that he allegedly proceeded to the kitchen where he prepared an assortment of vegetables which he deliberately burnt and later took to the unsuspecting girlfriend and forced her to join him in eating.
After they had eaten, he reportedly forced her to make a call to her family and bid them farewell, saying to her that they were both “going to die”. Soon after the call was made, the man is said to have disconnected a hose pipe from a gas cylinder and started a fire which severely burnt his legs.
The woman suffered multiple wounds in the face and legs, even though she managed to escape through the door in a ball of fire. Both were rescued by neighbours who, upon hearing the woman’s cries, rushed to help.
“We have recorded similar cases of attempted murder involving couples. But this one is very rare, considering how the whole thing was planned from the onset. Of course, murderers or would be murderers have their own formulas of getting on with their mission, but we have never heard of victims being forced to eat burnt food, and sharing it with their victims,” said Papane. “But because this is a fresh matter and we are still investigating, we are hopeful that we will get to the bottom of it and see what really transpired. As we speak, the couple is admitted at Letsholathebe II Memorial Hospital where the man is in a very critical condition. They must be thankful because had it not been for the neighbours who came to their aid in good time, we would be telling a different story.”
Still on the same day, Papane said a 22-year-old man from Etsha in the Okavango District also committed suicide and was found by a passerby hanging from a tree at Boseja Ward. It is still not known why he decided to take his life as no suicide note was left. His family reported to have last seen him the previous day and was equally surprised as he had not shown any signs of restlessness.
Papane said that, in recent months, police have noticed a growing trend in which youths, particularly, are resorting to ending their lives for unknown reasons, either by hanging or drowning in the Thamalakane River.
Sehitwa Police, on the other hand, have also recorded an increase in cases of drownings, though not suicide related, at the famous Lake Ngami, where people do their fishing. The same has also happened in Maun, and is common during the fishing season or when people go on boat drives.
Papane advised that people should refrain from getting into water, particularly those who are not familiar with swimming.
“They must also make use of the community service unit at Maun Police station whenever they encounter problems in their everyday lives, and not mistake it for a place where we only register cases. Our doors are always open and our officers are always ready to offer any form of assistance, including counseling, so I urge people to always come forward and seek help whenever they feel aggrieved by their partners or family members, because otherwise we might not be able to solve issues if people do not come forward to share their problems,” said Papane.