Mmegi Online :: Police failed Thamaga
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Last Updated
Tuesday 13 November 2018, 16:21 pm.
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Police failed Thamaga

On Saturday night a group of young men attacked homes in Thamaga, killing an elderly woman in their rampage and leaving two others hospitalised.
By Mmegi Editor Tue 25 Nov 2014, 12:24 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Police failed Thamaga








The group also left a trail of destruction, as they broke doors, windows, furniture and electronics in the 67 year-old deceased’s house, which seemed to be the gang’s main target in Kgosing ward.

The gang, suspected to be the notorious Merubisi have been in the news for a while. Their modus operandi includes attacking mourners at night vigils and funerals, wedding parties and other social gatherings. They also target entertainment centres robbing and beating up patrons. Early this year, Mmegi carried special features on the Thamaga gangs and how these criminals, some school going children, are running havoc in the once quite and peaceful village some 40 kilometres south of Gaborone.

While the villagers spoke of the terror of these youngsters, the Botswana police denied that there was a crisis in Thamaga. Even when the traditional and political leadership spoke publicly about how these gangs have turned the village on its head, the police insisted that the incidents are a normal daily occurrence of criminal activities. The police even went public on Btv’s ‘Molemo wa Kgang’ programme denying that these young men were terrorising Thamaga residents, or that there are any gangs. But despite the police denials, the gang attacks continued. Two months ago, a security guard was killed when his response team followed a tip-off about stolen property. Thamaga is not the first village to experience such. Gangs such as Ditlou in Ramotswa, MaSporties in Molepolole and Mogoditshane and MaWestern

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in Maun have caused havoc in the past. Thankfully, in these and other major villages, traditional leaders responded by establishing Mephato to fight back. Their operations were done jointly with law enforcers. Although these Mephato were sometimes abusive, or overzealous, they wiped out these gangs and brought order in these villages. Today, the streets of most villages are safe. Of course, crime remains a challenge.

Thamaga has in the past year been under siege. By Sunday night, armed SSG police had invaded the village, raiding homes of suspected gangsters, and yesterday morning residents around Kgosing and Marang wards were reporting gunshots.  The fear is no longer just about the youthful gangs but also about a gun-trotting law enforcement, which comes to the party a little too late.

It is time Botswana Police honour their pledge and protect the people of Thamaga from these bloodthirsty criminals who are ready to kill at the slightest provocation. It is time the police stop pretending all is well when nothing is. It is time for visible and effective policing; they have to be seen patrolling the streets at night and intensifying surveillance on suspected ringleaders, members, and their friends. We hope that this time, the law enforcers will take this matter seriously and do all in their power to restore sanity in Thamaga. Failure to act now may result in irreversible damage that includes people taking the law into their own hands.

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