A family is grieving. Villagers are seething with anger. This after two grisly murders of siblings in a space of three weeks left a society that was about to forget the terrifying years of violent delinquent behaviour etched on their minds for close to a decade fearing for the worst.
The youth stole anything from cellular phones to liquor, maimed adults and, in some not so amusing incidents, made the elderly dance by night fall.
“Another elephant has been slaughtered,” a man passed a remark, a sad one at that, after news broke that 28-year-old Mmabatho Segopolo had been murdered┬á on 27 November.
Dry blots of her blood lay strewn across the tarred road in the vicinity of the Caltex Filling Station junction in Ramotswa.
Segopolo was not an elephant. She was human. Perhaps her behaviour and those of whom she associated with matched that of “elephants”.
In the late 1990s, wayward youths in Ramotswa terrorized villagers going by the name “Ditlou” (elephants). Nobody was free in the village then as the youth night prowlers roamed the village.
It taxed tribal authorities some sizeable amount of energy addressing kgotla meetings coupled with floggings here and there, to contain the unacceptable behaviour. But it would appear with the recent murders that something has survived.
Mmabatho’s late younger brother, Rorisang, was butchered by an axe-wielding suspect three weeks before her sister was murdered.
Rorisang’s alleged murderer, Suna Ponoeng, is in police custody, so says Detective Assistant Superintendent Kediagetse Megale of Ramotswa Police station.
Even in death, villagers murmur scornfully, though with some sorrow, how he made life difficult for others. He would still be alive had he behaved himself they say. Mmabatho’s killer is still at large according to police although his identity is known to them.
The two murders have gotten society to question the moral upbringing of the siblings with an acquaintance blaming one of their relatives for improper grooming.
Meanwhile, the CID boss says a man, 44 years of age, committed suicide at Boatle 9 km from Ramotswa the same day that Mmabatho was murdered. Nobody knows why the man took his own life as he left no suicide note.