Multitudes filled up the courtroom, as Tebogo Ramantosha 27, the son of a Molepolole couple found dead last month in their home together with their other son, was arraigned before the magistrate in the village on Thursday.
Tebogo appeared together with Mmoloki Tlhaelo 37, Poloko Segwagwa 27 and Cornelious Saidoo 28, all charged with three counts of murder.
The four, who made their first appearance in court yesterday, are suspected to be involved in last month’s deaths of Patrick Ramantosha 55, Boingotlo Fridah Ramantosha 47 and Keabetswe Ramantosha 22.
Now cowering before the glare of the multitudes, manacled Ramantosha, was a far cry from a person who gave Mmegi team a torrid time when reporters of the newspaper went to report on the murders recently.
He went missing immediately after the murders and the big confrontation with Mmegi. But on Tuesday, the police managed to arrest him.
This week, Mmegi’s sister paper, The Monitor carried a story by relatives who expressed their profound grief at the deaths of the three family members and the disappearance of the surviving family member in Tebogo Ramantosha. The Molepolole Magistrate Court revealed that on or about June 21, 2018, at Ntloelengwae ward in Molepolole, acting together with common purpose, the suspects unlawfully murdered the couple and their son.
Representing the State, assistant Superintendent Uyapo Koketso of Botswana Police Service (BPS) told court that investigations on the matter were still at infant stage, pleading for the remand in custody of the quartet .
“The first accused person, Ramantosha being the son of the deceased, was captured two days prior to other accused persons’ arrest on Wednesday. Therefore investigations into the matter are still at initial stage. We humbly make an application for the quartet to be remanded in custody to enable completion of investigations,” he said. Koketso further told court that they needed time to locate
“We are yet to record statements from possible witnesses. The suspects have committed a sensitive offence and the offence is still fresh in the society’s memory and the deceased’s family hence fearing for the suspects,” he said, also revealing to have retrieved a television set belonging to the deceased family in the possession of the accused. Supporting Koketso’s sentiments, sub-Inspector Barulaganye Tiase, also of BPS, told court that since the horrific murder, they have been having sleepless nights in order to crack leads, hence pleading with court to remand the quartet in custody.
“Looking at the manner in which the offence was committed and its gravity, the prosecution will need enough time to carry out its investigations to ensure that at the end, justice will be served. It can be risky for the suspects to be seen walking freely in the public after being linked to such a sensitive offence,” said Tiase.
Tiase told court that investigation on the matter to establish what could have led to the men’s horrible actions were ongoing. “Further investigation is needed to make sure that prosecution gathers enough information to prosecute the suspects. On our next appearance, we will brief court on the progress of our investigations,” said Tiase. The accused’s plea was reserved and they are due in court again on August 9. Asked if they have anything to say, the accused persons said they had none.