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Lobatse Police Conceal Clash With Mob

KABELO BORANABI
Police and soldiers are alleged to have forced witnesses to delete photos and videos
In an attempt to stop a social football tournament, a joint patrolling team of the Botswana Police Service (BPS) and the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) walked into a brawl with the public in Lobatse.

According to eyewitnesses, on Saturday afternoon, law enforcers were attempting to disperse a crowd after a football tournament at Lobatse Stars grounds when a fight between the public and law enforcers ensued.

The Monitor is informed that the squabble between the two camps became physical after the police arrested a man at the grounds, near Moselewapula complex.

“It all started when they (BPS and BDF) arrested and handcuffed a man for playing loud music from his car. After a verbal altercation between the man and the police, twice the law enforcers slapped him while still handcuffed. That provoked the crowd, and a fight between the public and law enforcers ensued. It was so bad that at one point one of the soldiers was tripped and kicked while on the ground,” a witness said.

“It cooled off after the soldiers threatened to use their guns and that is when the people retreated. The police cars were stoned as they sped off from the scene with the man they had arrested

They had handcuffed almost everyone who

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filmed the scene.

We were threatened with detainment, our phones were taken and all the pictures and videos of the altercation were forcibly deleted,” a witness said.

The Monitor has learnt that the officers realised the mess they created, but have kept mum about the incident. It was only after The Monitor’s enquiry that Woodhall Police Station commander was made aware of the incident.

After several attempts to source a comment from the police, the station commander, Elias Magosi confirmed that the police dispersed a crowd, but denied any altercation between the law enforcers and the mob.

“We do not have a case like that in our office. We have not detained anyone and none of our cars were damaged.

The report we have is that our officers attended the crowd in an attempt to disperse them.

But that it was not physical, as the crowd dispersed without any fuss between them and our officers,” Magosi said. The Monitor’s attempts to get a comment from the ‘victim’, as his number was off at press time.



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