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Murder convict former soldier faces fresh charges

CHAKALISA DUBE
FRANCISTOWN: A convicted former soldier that escaped detention at Sbrana Psychiatric Hospital where he was detained following conviction for the brutal murder of his two children in 2013 may face new charges for other crimes.

Thebe Ndjavera was arrested last Wednesday in Francistown where he subsequently appeared at the Magistrate’s Court for a robbery that could lead to him facing fresh charges in the related incident that occurred the same day.

He could face charges for unlawful possession of a firearm and threat-to-kill following the attempt to rob three people (using the illegal firearm), who were worshipping at a hill near the Francistown Golf Course. He is also said to have threatened to kill one of the victims with the gun.

The murder attempt victim, who happens to be a soldier in Francistown, is said to have strategically disarmed Ndjavera in the incident before the worshipping trio managed to seek police intervention. 

Ndjavera had been detained at the pleasure of the President at Sbrana in 2016 after the Francistown High Court ruled that he was not mentally sound following the 2013 incident.

“We are still investigating and depending on the nature of the investigations additional charges might be laid against him, but I cannot go into detail since he has appeared in court,” Francistown Central Police Station commander Lebalang Maniki said yesterday. 

Maniki said that the police

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only learnt that Ndjavera had escaped from a detention facility in his recent arrest. He also quashed widespread reports that there are some people who were robbed by Ndjavera before the recent arrest.

“We have not received any robbery or criminal incidents that happened at the golf course or any place near the area. This (Wednesday incident) is the first case we have recorded in recent times,” he said.

Details of how Ndjavera escaped from a mental detention facility remain sketchy. However, various sources have disclosed that he fled to South Africa after escaping from detention a few weeks ago. He would then later make his way back to Francistown.

Many believe that his escape highlights security deficiencies at Sbrana.

In his 2016 conviction, both the defence and prosecution plead with the court to depart from the normal practice of sending convicts to jail. They pleaded with the court to send Ndjavera, who was then 26-years-old, to a mental facility so that he could be rehabilitated after he was declared criminally insane. The court heeded the plea and subsequently sent Ndjavera to Sbrana instead of prison following the conviction.



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