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Mob Justice Victim Laid To Rest

PINI BOTHOKO
Alleged smash and grab thief, Thabo Olatheng was laid to rest at Lotlhakeng West yesterday PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
LOTLHAKANE WEST: Lotlhakane village chief, Jobson Difemo has said Mogoditshane mob justice victim, Thabo Xolani’ Olatheng’s killing was so inhuman, and no actual human being with a soul should do something so heinous.

The village’s chief said this when addressing mourners at Xolani’s funeral. Olatheng, aged 22 who was buried yesterday.

“Gone ga ntsena mo mading ke bona mo ditshwantshong tse tsa segompieno tse, ngwana yo ebile go buiwa a setse a bolawa. Fake ke botsa gatwe ngwana yo o ntse a inaakantse le go utswa. I was so shocked, it was my first time in Botswana to see a person being killed in that manner. It was cruel to see women and men some holding spades, stones, slashers participating in his killing. One a bolawa abo a gatakwa ka dinao, abo a ntshiwa mo ditshwantshong, his killing was so inhuman,” said the chief.

Difemo further stated he even told the police that the manner in which Xolani was killed was heartless and if it continues that way Batswana will eliminate each other.

“You will hear people labelling someone as a thief on the street and join in to assault him or her not knowing that person is your sibling. If this continues we will eliminate each other as Batswana. I am pleading with Batswana to refrain from this bad attitude,” he said.

In addition, the village chief raised a concern about substance abuse amongst the youth giving, especially dagga and cocaine. He stated that if indeed the deceased was a feared criminal like he is portrayed, he might have been seen showing some signs of substance abuse.

 

“Youth abuse dagga and cocaine especially lads and those drugs intoxicate them more because of their small brains. I even suspect that even those who killed Thabo were intoxicated with dagga.

I heard Thabo was killed because he had snatched a cell phone, I am pleading with the youth to use the same skills to utilise government initiatives, open business and empower themselves not engaging in criminal activities,” Difemo pleaded.

He asked parents

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to talk to their children, seek help and not abandon them until they turn into criminals. He said if Thabo’s parents had been firm when raising him, he could have grown up to be a better person.

“We do not know why Thabo was killed, some say he was killed because he had stolen someone’s mobile phone, some say he was killed by his fellow criminals after a deal gone wrong but we need answers. Thabo used to attend church but he left it to engage in substance abuse. I am pleading with the police to conclude their investigations and give us the report,” Difemo said.

Thabo’s father Tathego Tlhapa declined to comment any further stating that he has buried his son and wants to let it go. “I do not see the importance of sharing anything with the media.

I have buried my son and want to let what people have been saying on social media to fade away with time without talking to the media and appear as if I am fuelling it,” Tlhapa said. 

Multitudes, some of who were identified as his fellow criminals, flocked the village to pay their last respects to the deceased who was identified as a boy who has been troublesome from his teenage hood.  “He would steal something but when questioning him he would come clean and admit to have stolen it. Tota ngwana yo o sale a senya a santse ale monnye, mme ene ere o mmotsa abo a dumela molato,” said one parent when addressing the mourners.

A week ago, an angry mob of Senthumole ward in Mogoditshane allegedly caught Thabo, who was identified as a habitual smash and grab thief and assaulted him to death. It is alleged that the lad was trying to escape when he was caught by a furious mob.



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