Roughly two weeks ago, the country received shocking and painful news that a group of seven Batswana, who were travelling to Durban in South Africa (SA) to buy cars were attacked as they approached Swartruggens.
Unfortunately, the thugs did not only get away with substantial amounts, they killed some of the travellers who were en route to Durban. Rumours started circulating that the locals who innocently left the country to buy imported vehicles at the coastal city of KwaZulu-Natal were sold out by some fellow Batswana.
One of the survivors revealed that as they were about to leave, a certain woman kept calling them claiming that she also wanted to go and purchase a vehicle in Durban. Shockingly, the woman failed to pick her phone up the group’s arrival in Durban, where she said she would wait for them.
The grapevine was picking momentum, as many speculated that the hijacking must have been collaboration by Batswana and South Africans. One of the victims of the hijacking, which turned deadly, was laid to rest on August 3, 2019.
The deceased was described as a loving individual who devoted his time to helping the youth stay clear of crime. These thugs never consider the consequences of their actions, as their interest is only fuelled by greed. Thanks to the collaboration of Botswana Police Service (BPS) and the South African Police Service some of the suspects have already been nabbed and appeared in court for mention.
BPS issued a statement that a 30-year-old Motswana woman, Lebogang Mhotsha appeared before Broadhurst Magistrate on Friday, and she is due in court again on August 22. The police said their preliminary investigations revealed that the robbery was an act of conspiracy between the suspect and another Motswana man, who is still on the run.
The collaboration between the two police services yielded good results in a very short period of time. Perhaps if this trend could continue, it would deter criminals from robbing people, which in some cases have resulted in loss of lives. Many Batswana are already scared of crossing the border over to SA, as they feel they are being targeted. A number of Batswana have shared their painful experiences while visiting SA, on the Fight Crime Gaborone Facebook page.
Many post their experiences in an effort to warn Batswana to be extra vigilant on their visits to South Africa. Many go to SA, but some return without their cars, and sometimes even the goods they had gone out to buy. Those who travel to SA frequently have now decided that taking the bus and flying are currently the safest modes of transport.
Hopefully, the collaboration between the two forces will result in Batswana feeling safe to visit their friends, families and do business in SA.