FRANCISTOWN: Police in Francistown are yet to obtain leads that could result in the arrest of murder accused, Edwin Tefo Samotse, who is suspected to be involved in two escapes from custody.
Samotse hit international headlines last year when he escaped under the watchful eyes of law enforcement officers while being attended to at Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital (NRH) in October. His escape came barely two months after he had been extradited from South Africa, after spending a stint in that country allegedly on the run from the murder charges.
Samotse’s extradition hit the headlines after rights groups in South Africa accused their government of illegally handing him over without securing guarantees that he would not be eligible for the death penalty. Upon his return, Samotse was initially granted bail, which was revoked after he was arrested allegedly during a bid to return to South Africa.
This week, police admitted that they were still in the dark about Samotse’s whereabouts. Francistown Central Police station commander, Superintendent Lebalang Maniki said they were struggling to get any leads that could lead to his arrest. I cannot even comment on the speculation that he is in South Africa.
“However, should any information surface suggesting that he is in South Africa we will engage Interpol. We are having a difficult time trying to locate Samotse,” he said. Sources within Francistown police have repeatedly indicated that Samotse is in South Africa where he initially fled to before his extradition.
If he is in South Africa, Samotse’s latest flight will present yet another diplomatic stalemate between the two countries. Two South African Department of Home Affairs officers were suspended last year for approving Samotse’s extradition to Botswana without securing guarantees that he would not be sentenced to death.