Forbes under 30 Summit delegate and South African national Bhekisisa Kunene (34) has accused the Botswana Police Service (BPS) of brutality after he was arrested and jailed late last night.
Kunene who is in Botswana for the Summit told Mmegi Online that he was arrested last night around 7pm and was only released this morning allegedly after President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s intervention.
He claims that luck was on his side after Masisi visited the Broadhurst Police Station where he found him locked up. According to Kunene who is the founder of website-building company Mind Trix Media, he had gone to the mall to buy a few things. He says when he got to the store his card declined and so he decided to go back to his Bed and Breakfast to contact his bank in South Africa.
"When I returned back I found the store had closed. I was trying to negotiate with the store personnel to let me in as the store had literally just closed. They refused and manhandled me. I then took a video of them and that is when they got more upset and attacked me further," the Forbes under 30 Summit delegate revealed.
Kunene says as he tried to open a case of assault against the store personnel they instead opened a case against him. He was arrested and spent the night behind bars. The man further claimed that he was only rescued by President Masisi this morning."They did not give me my medication or even allow me to make a phone call," he says in the official Forbes under 30 Summit WhatsApp group.
"I have been smacked and punched so badly my left ear can't hear. I had planned to stay and do business till April 29 but I can’t. My body hurts extremely bad,” further reads a Forbes under 30 summit WhatsApp group text from the man. BW Presidency Facebook page shows that indeed the President visited Broadhurst Police this morning. Speaking at the station, Masisi said the visit was intended to accord him an opportunity to interact with Broadhurst Police Station personnel as well as, appreciate their office facilities.
"This interaction should help us explore strengths and weaknesses in the area of law enforcement," he said. The President continued, "As police officers, you are compelled by your code of conduct to always abide by the rule of law and adopt zero tolerance stance towards corruption. In the course of executing your duties, you should therefore, strive to respect rights of citizens and residents of this country. This will guarantee the effectiveness and relevance of the policing work in Botswana."
Confirming the incident was officer commanding Bonnie Bareki who however, clarified that the delegate was not released by the President. "I can confirm that we had that individual in custody. He was brought in to the Police by security officers of a certain store at the BBS mall who lodged a complaint against him. The police tried to reason with this individual but because he was or looked like he was drunk he could not give the police any details of who he was and what happened and so we detained him overnight to sober up," Bareki said.
According to the police, the report they received is that the man had visited the liquor store in BBS but his card declined when he tried to pay for the items he wanted to buy. A scuffle began with the store personnel who called security to arrest him and handed him over to the police. "He was not released by the President. We released him the following day because now he had sobered up," the police confirmed.