How BDF Soldier 'Shot Love Rival'

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FRANCISTOWN: Harrowing details of how a former Botswana Defence Force (BDF) soldier allegedly shot and killed his love rival in 2011 were revealed in court on Thursday.

The events involved Prince Molathwa who allegedly murdered Mosireletsi Ricardo Ramokgothwane at a Canon Store at Light Industrial Site in Francistown on May 18, 2011.

Superintendent Thomas Letebele of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) told the court that he came to know Molathwa after Ramokgothwane was gunned down in 2011.

After Ramokgothwane was shot to death, Letebele said he and his colleague gathered information that Sir Seretse Khama (SSK) police in Gaborone had arrested the person who may have shot the deceased.

Letebele narrated that him and his colleague then embarked on a journey to Gaborone on

May 19 to carry out investigations in connection with the matter.

“There was an allegation that a green Opel Astra car bearing number plates B 559 ARS was seen driven by the accused at the scene of crime after he allegedly shot the deceased. Before we went to Gaborone, we went to the department of transport to check on their system who the owner of the said car was. We then discovered that the car belonged to the accused,” said Letebele.

Letebele also explained that their preliminary investigations in Francistown before their journey to Gaborone turned up information that there was a case registered by the accused against the deceased.

However, Letebele did not tell the court why the accused registered a police case against the deceased. “Our police colleagues in Gaborone led by Superintendent Mokgware welcomed us at SSK. We told them the purpose of our journey. Later we searched the accused’s car in the presence of his wife and brother but we did not find a gun… During the search, we managed to retrieve a cash register slip, which showed where the accused fuelled his vehicle. The slip was dated May 18 (the same day the deceased was shot)… When we asked the accused, he said he never travelled outside Gaborone but only dropped off his wife at work and then proceeded to Kgale to pray,” said Letebele.

“When we were still doing our investigations, we became suspicious that the car may have been driven to the northern part of the country and passed at Sese where there was an exercise to prevent the spread of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). The car’s mats were stained with a white substance which I suspected was soda ash used by veterinary officials to control the spread of FMD. However, the accused denied

ever having travelled to Francistown,” said Letebele.

Later on May 19, we went to the accused’s place of residence in Gaborone West and searched his place in the presence of his wife and brother but found nothing, said Letebele.

“We later embarked on a journey with the accused to Francistown leaving behind his car at the SSK. On the way when we were about to approach Palapye, the accused informed us that the gun he used to shoot the deceased was in his car at SSK…. We returned to SSK the following morning (May 20) around 6:30am and briefed Mokgware about our mission for returning,” said Letebele.

Letebele added: “The accused told us the gun was underneath the dashboard area near the steering wheel… We found it wrapped in some newspapers…. The gun was rusty and its serial number was erased. He told us that he got it from his South African friend but he did not know the name of the friend… All along our photographer Mr Lesetedi was taking photos during our search… We later returned to Francistown police station on that day.”

“At the Francistown police… he later volunteered to take us to the scene of crime at Light Industrial area next to Canon and Tyre

Services. I drew a sketch of the crime scene because most of the exhibits were not at the scene. He pointed to where he was standing when he shot the deceased… I then intended to record his statement but he declined saying that he would like to communicate with his attorney. I afforded him the opportunity to communicate with his attorney but he still declined his statement to be recorded. He said that his attorney advised him to make a confession statement only before a judicial officer,” said Letebele.

Letebele said the accused was later taken to court and charged with murder and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.The case is before Justice Barnabas Nyamadzabo-and it was adjourned on Thursday in order for the court to go for an inspection in loco (when a court decides to make an on-the-stop inspection of the place where a crime or some other event connected with the case allegedly took place) at Kutlwano police station where the accused’s car is kept in safe custody.

Unoda Mack represents Molathwa while Ditshotlo Mpale appeared for the State.

The case would resume on September 5.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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