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Grieving Family Rejects Murderous Relative

PINI BOTHOKO
Aobakwe Lehupu
MOLEPOLOLE: Seven years later, a Molepolole family struggling to come to terms with the brutal killing of their family members by one of their own, has rejected their murder convict relative recently handed a prison sentence.

On April 6, 2021, the Gaborone High Court judge Michael Leburu sentenced Aobakwe Lehupu, 27, to 25 years imprisonment for killing his grandmother, grandfather, aunt and niece at Ratshere lands in the outskirts of Molepolole village back in May 2014.

Then, the 21-year-old Lehupu torched a hut in which his grandmother and niece were sleeping, burning them to death before raping his aunt and hacking her and his grandfather to death. Lehupu was facing four counts of murder, two counts of arson, two attempted murder cases, one count of rape and two common assault cases. Lehupu committed the gruesome murders whilst he was on parole after he a pardon by then president Ian Khama whilst serving time for raping his own sister.

On Friday, The Monitor team visited Lehupu’s family in Molepolole following their relative’s 25-year jail sentence. A relative who preferred anonymity for fear of victimisation said the family is not happy about the court’s sentence labelling the 25 years imprisonment as lenient despite the gruesome acts he has perpetrated on his own family.

The family member disclosed that the whole family lives in fear of the convict because he threatened to kill other remaining family members.

“We are not ready to live with him. Tota gare kake ra kgona go amogela Aobakwe morago ga sea se dirileng. Reya go tshela jang le ene? He has been in prison for seven

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years now and very soon he will be out and we are expected to welcome him home. No, Aobakwe has killed our parents and as a family, we will not forgive him,” a family member said.

The family member fears Lehupu is capable of killing the remaining family members after serving his jail term. The relative said just that it would sound cruel against one of their own but the only sentence that could have served justice for the family could have been capital punishment.

“Nkabo Aobakwe a atlholetswe leso kgang ya hela, reya gomo amogela jang tota mo matshelong a rona, oya go nna kae. Puso e tswanetse go mo agela jarata, gare kake ra kgona go nna le ene,” said a family member.

The relative further disclosed the family’s grievance of not being consulted when the decision of his sentence was taken. The family accused the court of not having asked them their views and wishes regarding Aobakwe’s punishment.

“Molao ore latheletse, ga rea botswa maikutlo le dikeletso tsa rona ka katlholo ya ngwana yoo, go tlaare faba mo golola ba bone gore bamo isa kae, reka se kgone go tshela le ene,” the family member said.

Three weeks following Lehupu’s sentence, the family said they are yet to be formally addressed about it. They disclosed to still be waiting for the police to announce to the family.



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