Four members of the Botswana Defence Force, two uniformed police officers and two plain clothes officers, accused of brutally assaulting the sons of a local attorney, are the subject of police investigations.
This was after the six officers picked the two young men, 19 and 21, with two others near BKT stop in Gaborone West allegedly around 2300 hours, whereupon they were driven to Gaborone West Police Station where they were allegedly kicked around, hit hard on the heads and assaulted all over their bodies.
“What devastates me most is the fact that there is no indication that the authorities are taking the matter seriously as the involved officers continue to work despite having brutalized my sons for no justifiable reason,” said Dr Sophie Moahi-Gulubane, the boys’ mother, whose lawyer husband works in the Attorney General’s Office.
The eldest of the two, Thabiso Gulubane, is a fourth year Law student at the University of Botswana, whereas his brother, Biko, is studying in the United States of America.
As a result of the assault, it is feared that Biko, who is apparently on a short vacation from his studies, could lose more as he was diagnosed with serious injuries to the head, and doctors suspect he may have experienced trauma to parts of the brain which led to episodes of blurred vision, as well as bleeding inside the left ear.
“We are still to be informed of the date for appearing in Court, whilst the charges preferred against the boys keep changing,” lamented Moahi-Gulubane.
The most striking statistic in the case, according to information passed to The Sunday Standard is that when the Gulubane boys were arrested, they were in fact in the company of two other friends, a male and a female, who were to later help in rescuing their friends from the police.
It emerged that, on encountering a troop of 4 armed soldiers, 2 uniformed police officers and 2 plain clothes officers, the two Gulubanes and their colleagues did not show any sign of resistance.
Thabiso said, “Apparently they saw us from a distance and one of them came running to us, and on reaching us he asked for our particulars which we willingly gave,” said Thabiso.
“Incidentally my brother was playing with a skate board, but on being asked to produce our national identity cards, he was the only one that had his ID, whereas the rest of us did not have our IDs with us. One of the officers, whose identity showed him as Marumo took my brother’s ID.”
In spite of that, the 8 men then allegedly dragged Biko by his clothes and bundled him into a BDF bakkie without cause, whereupon Thabiso insisted that, given that his brother had not done any wrong he would rather accompany him to wherever he was being taken, only to infuriate the officers who then took all of them to the Gaborone West Police Station, where the two were allegedly selected for a thorough beating.
Superintendent Bonnie Bareki of the Gaborone West Police Station confirmed the case saying he had sanctioned an investigation to establish what transpired.
On whether the predominance of members of other units than the police, especially the BDF, suggests there is a capacity problem, he said, “These have always been part of our support structure, and if anything happens we will duly accept responsibility, notwistanding the final outcome of the investigation.”