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Last Updated
Monday 10 May 2021, 19:28 pm.
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The brutal shooting of Malebo Molefhe

Malebogo Molefhe still remembers with chilling vividness the night her then boyfriend shot her eight times at close range and left her for dead.
By Gothataone Moeng
Staff Writer
(GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: The brutal shooting of Malebo Molefhe








Two years later, having defied doctors' initial verdicts of no hope for her survival, Molefhe is now turning her sights to helping others heal emotionally. She intends to become a motivational speaker. 

This was revealed Friday morning at a workshop at which Molefhe was officially handed a P38,500 electric wheelchair to help her navigate better on a day-to-day basis. She was also given a four-in-one printer, copier, fax and scanner to enhance a home office from which she will manage her motivational speaking engagements. Molefhe's injuries from the gunshots have confined her to a wheelchair. 

"I am still trying my very best. Everyday I try not to depress myself. The road I travelled was steep, but it was worth the climb. Healing is not something that you can say you have achieved, or that you can show a trophy for, it's a learning process," Molefhe told the hushed workshop participants.

Her former colleagues at Botswana Telecommunications Corporations (at which she worked in the Information Technology department) said despite her ordeal, Molefhe has retained her strength of character and hardworking spirit.

Before that fateful day 2009, she was a fun-loving and energetic basketball player. In her heyday, the woman from Manyana, played for BDF V. On April 17, 2009, everything went wrong when her on-off relationship with her army officer boyfriend ended in a gruesome way.

"Over 10 years ago, when my boyfriend and I started dating, we were in love. We were just like a normal couple.

We had our little disagreements, just like other normal couples," Molefhe recalled on Friday. The agreements stemmed from trust issues, with most of them centred on cellphones. As the years passed by, she said, the disagreements escalated because of factors such as infidelity, and there was physical violence.

"I did not exit at the right time. I had my head in the sand," she remembered. "We broke up from time to time. But we always went back to each other. You keep coming back, it becomes a spiral of abuse."

When she finally realised that the relationship was "irretrievably broken", she broke it off.  But, she said, her boyfriend became even more obsessed with her.

She said on the day she got shot, she had spoken to her former boyfriend in the evening.

"He had sounded fine, he was not angry. I wasn't at all expecting what he would do." But that night, as she slept, her former lover broke her bedroom window, causing Molefhe to wake up screaming. Her first thought was that it was the work of burglars, but then she heard her boyfriend's voice.

"He asked me to open the door for him.  I couldn't, because I knew him. I knew that he had a short fuse, that he was quick to raise his hand. I was scared." What her former

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lover did when Molefhe refused to open the door still makes her cry. She said he waved a gun at the window, and changed his voice. She could see an evil glint in the eyes of the man she used to love.

"He said open up or I am going to kill you.  Before I could even say anything he shot the door open, and gained entry into the house."

At this point, she said she remembers feeling confused. There were noises; concerned neighbours woken up by the gunshots had called the police. Her former boyfriend came into the house, and checked to see if there was anybody else in the house. Realising that there was nobody, he commanded her to get dressed and took her by the hand.  At the gate, as they tried to leave the yard, they were met by police officers and Botswana Defence Force soldiers trying to rescue Molefhe. In an instant he put his gun to her head. She remembers the cold, metallic feel of it on the side of her head.  She said he pulled her back inside the yard and pulled the trigger.

"It was a long, clicking sound. For me that was a defining moment. I think the gods were with me. I didn't know whether he had shot. But I was still alive. I realised then that there must have been a problem," Molefhe said, keeping her eyes shut as she retells her tale, as if she wanted to block out the pictures. She said after his first failed attempt, her former lover used both hands to cock the gun. She turned, trying to flee.

"I hadn't fled far when I felt this piercing going through my body. It was like electricity.  I fell down. He shot me several times." After satisfying himself, the man shot himself dead.

"The night was consumed with silence. I didn't know if I was alive. The most difficult thing was that I couldn't breathe. I was battling to breathe. I wanted to live," She remembered. It was her will to live, and the support of her family and friends that pulled her through, she said. Through the intervention of her former employer BTC, she was introduced to Sally Pillar of Nature Care Wellness Centre, who took on the job of counselling her.

"When I heard her story, I felt chills. I felt that I could not manage. But there must be a reason why I was chosen out of so many good counsellors. Now, we have an everlasting bond." Pillar said.

Pillar said Molefhe's positive mental attitude and courage prompted her to help her, by organising a better wheelchair for her. Sponsors for the wheelchair include BTC, Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB), Legal Guard, Gabz FM and Mmegi.

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Mon 31 Oct 2011
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