Death brings everything to a halt, but sudden death resulting from murder creates much more overwhelming grief for survivors.
This is what the Ramantosha family of Ntloelongwae ward in Molepolole is going through at this moment.
Almost a month ago, Patrick Ramantosha 55, his wife Fridah 47 and son Keabetswe 22, were found dead with their hands, legs tied up with their mouth covered. Foul play was immediately suspected.
In a follow-up visit to the grieving family’s home on Friday morning, The Monitor team found Fridah’s mother and Patrick’s elder sister sitting around a fire, their sorrows etched on their faces as if the incident occurred only yesterday.
Approaching the family to describe their feelings and share their story as to what really happened, was the most challenging thing ever, but however hard and invasive the circumstances, journalists have no choice but to undertake these duties.
After introducing ourselves to the family, unlike two weeks ago when they refused to talk to us, this time around they readily acquiesced to exchange words for words, on condition we did not photograph them and even disclose their names.
“No my child, I cannot disclose my names nor allow you to take me photos because another newspaper recently did so and misquoted me,” said Patrick’s elder sister.
Asked about what really transpired, she said they were still in shock and still very much confused about the whole saga. But they were putting all of their hopes and faith in the police to unravel the mystery.
She went on disclose that the whole family was still as shocked as if the matter was still fresh in their minds.
“My brother, his wife and son were brutally killed and it hurts that after many weeks with the police, we do not know who killed them and for what reasons.
“They were friendly people, hence not knowing who could do such a terrible thing to them. We are completely heart-broken,” she said.
She stated that their family members’ triple murder was hard to cope with, particularly because of the way
She said as a result they were putting their faith in God’s hands to guide the police towards the arrest of the culprit(s).
All along, Fridah’s mother sat quietly, listening, looking so pained she could burst into tears any time. Suddenly, without saying a word, she stood up.
Apparently, she had resolved to keep herself busy with house chores. She came out of the house with garments that needed washing up and started doing laundry until we finished our interview.
With misery written all over her face, hers was a pain only a mother could experience after losing a child in such a traumatic way.
The deceased’s sister noted that even though people lose their loved ones, the way they lost the family was very hard to come to terms with, especially because of what the killer(s) did to them.
Asked about the deceased’s missing son, she said the last time they saw him was on July 5 when he went out and his grandmother asked where he was going and he said he was going to the nearby tuck-shop.
“That was the last time we saw him. Even today we do not know his whereabouts.
After not seeing him for hours we reported that matter to the police who are currently helping us to look him.
No one in the family knows where he is and this is scary especially looking at how his family members were killed,” she said.
However, Molepolole is awash with uncomfirmed accusatory rumours implicating a close family member.
The deputy public relations officer of the Botswana Police Service, senior Superintendent Near Bagali said investigations into the matter were still ongoing and could not, therefore respond to street talk.
“We have not yet arrested anyone in relation to the killings and still looking for Tebogo who is also missing. We are pleading with anyone with information that could lead to culprit(s)’s arrest to contact us,” said Bagali.