Mmegi Online :: Accident or murder?
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Last Updated
Friday 16 November 2018, 13:42 pm.
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Accident or murder?

A month long investigation by Mmegi shows that the 18-year-old labourer who was shot and killed by De Beers resident Director Neo Moroka early this year may have died from two gun shots to the chest and abdomen, not a single gun shot as previously reported. The question is, was it an accident or cold blooded murder? Mmegi Staff Writer SHARON MATHALA investigates
By Sharon Mathala Fri 21 Nov 2014, 15:04 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Accident or murder?








Kealeboga Danster an 18-year-old labourer who was killed by DeBeers Botswana Resident Director Neo Moroka in April this year after allegedly being mistaken for a dog may have been shot twice before he succumbed to his death, the deceased’s death certificate seen by Mmegi has revealed.

According to the deceased’s death certificate, which is full of grammatical errors and ambiguity, Danster died from, “ [SIC] gun short to the chest and the abdomen”, suggesting that Moroka may have shot the young man Danster twice. The new information from the death certificate offers a clear contradiction from police statements that the deceased died from a single shot.

According to sources close to the matter, it is unclear how a rifle that is not of an automatic make can accidentally shoot twice. There is no object mentioned that could be the cause of a possible bullet ricochet, said sources.

This week lawyers representing the distraught Margaret Danster - Kealeboga’s mother were equally shocked by information contained in the death certificate. In fact the lawyers have vowed to seek more answers regarding the death of Danster.

According to Lethogonolo Makgene of Senamela Sekga Attorneys, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has declined to prosecute Moroka.

As a result the lawyers said they intend to lawfully “force” the DPP to furnish them the deceased’s docket with its entire contents and exhibits seized by the police in the course of their investigations into the killing of Danster.

This, he says will give them an insight into the death of Danster.

The revelation of Danster’s death certificate comes a month after the DPP formally declined to prosecute Moroka on grounds that there is no sufficient evidence. The DPP through the Attorney General (AG) confirmed to Mmegi that they have decided to enter into a Nolle Prosequi on the case.

Nolle Prosequi is Latin legal jargon for “we shall no longer prosecute,” which is a declaration made to the judge by a prosecutor in a criminal case either before or during trial.

The declaration is an admission that the charges cannot be proved, that evidence has demonstrated either innocence or a fatal flaw in the prosecution’s claim or the district attorney has become convinced the accused is innocent.

This is despite the fact that initially Moroka was charged with a lesser offence of recklessness and negligence.

Attorney General spokesperson, Caroline Bogale-Jaiyeoba told Mmegi recently that the DPP entered into a Nolle Prosequi, which means that they will take not action against the DeBeers boss.

“The DPP exercising his powers under section 51 A (3) of the constitution of the republic of Botswana and Section 10 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (Cap 08: 02), entered a Nolle Prosequi in favour of the accused.

“The death of Kealeboga Danster was accidental and no person or persons can be held criminally liable for such an unfortunate occurrence. The case therefore, is closed,” said Bogale-Jaiyeoba. 

 

Moroka docket

Despite this setback the family is determined to launch private prosecution to get to the bottom of the matter. In a letter dated October 06 2014, Margaret Danster through her lawyers is summoning the Commissioner of Police and the DPP to give her the docket within 30 days.

The letter reads, “In the event the DPP declines for whatever reason or for no reason at all to prosecute the said Mr. Daniel Neo Moroka for murder/manslaughter directing that he issue a certificate, Nolle Prosequi or such like notification of his decision for purposes of enabling our client to institute a private prosecution against the said Mr. Daniel Moroka.

“Avail our client the said docket together with its entire contents and all exhibits, both real and documentary, seized by the Police in the course of their investigation into the killing of Kealeboga Danster.”

This week the lawyers representing the family conformed to Mmegi that the Police and the DPP have not passed the docket to them as per the letter of demand. Danster’s lawyer, Letlhogonolo Makgane told Mmegi, “ We

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will [now] lawfully force them to give us that document, we have written to them on a number of occasions and they have not responded to any of our letters.”

 

Mother speaks

Margaret Danster, 44, being the deceased’s mother said she was told of the decision by the DPP to drop charges against her son’s killer at the end of September. She said that the police told her that the evidence is not enough to charge Moroka and that the state had concluded that he had no case to answer.

The news that her son’s killer would not be charged left her distraught. All along she has been hopeful that the court would be allowed to determine whether DeBeers boss was at fault or not.

“Ke kutlobotlhoko hela ngwanaka, puso e tsholotse case. Ba tsholotse case mme ke godisitse ngwana ke mo tsentse sekolo gore a mpoloke, ke eme hela,” she cried out.

Danster was too distraught to talk further only saying, “tota ke bata hela kgang e hele.”

Mmegi has made efforts to get information from the police and the DPP on what really happened on the night Danster was killed and how a bullet that was meant for a dog ended up killing Danster, but the police have not been helpful.

Investigations by Mmegi have however revealed that Moroka used a rifle. The death certificate says the cause of death was, “ [SIC] gun short to the chest and abdomen” suggesting that Moroka may have accidentally shot the young Danster twice. It is unclear how a rifle that is not of an automatic make can accidentally shoot twice.

There is no object mentioned that could be the cause of a possible bullet ricochet.

 

Unanswered questions

Mmegi is also in possession of court papers in which Margaret Danster through her lawyers punches holes into Moroka’s defence. She says Moroka;

- failed to clear the area before he fired the shot;

- failed to keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction;

- failed to ascertain his target and what was around and beyond it.

- failed to ensure that the barrel was clear of obstructions before shooting;

- failed to positively identify his target and the threat it posed on him as well as whether the deceased posed danger to him or his property.

 

The civil lawsuit

In July this year Margaret Danster filed a civil lawsuit demanding P2 million. Three months later there is still no set date for the case. The matter is before Justice Godfrey Nthomiwa. In the first claim, Danster is demanding P1 million. “The actions of  defendant, killing the deceased, deprived the deceased of the opportunities of working and enjoying the normal period of life. The actions of the defendant shortened the deceased’s normal expectation of life,” the mother argues in the court papers for the first claim of P1 million.

For the second claim the mother is demanding P1 million on the grounds that at the time of his death, the deceased was in the process of enrolling at a technical college to pursue a vocation, which would have lasted three years.

“The deceased had assured the plaintiff that upon completion of his vocational training or acquisition of employment, he would sustain the plaintiff with an allowance of around P1,000 per month and build a modern house for her.”

The mother further states in her papers that upon attaining gainful employment, the deceased was obliged to financially support her in terms of Bakgalagadi customary law.

Meanwhile in a letter to the DPP dated June 17, 2014, the mother was not impressed with the manner in which the Tsabong and Lobatse police handled the matter.

“First and foremost, even though Moroka presented himself to the police almost immediately after the incident the police were awestruck by his presence that they failed to arrest him and instead allowed him to go,” the letter reads.

Moroka’s attorney, Kgosietsile Ngakaagae confirmed to Mmegi that they are still waiting for court to set the date for the case.

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