FRANCISTOWN: Even though the police announced the postmortem results showing that the 22-year-old Institute of Health Sciences (IHS) student, Pedzani Mosala committed suicide, her family suspects foul play and maintain that the deceased was tortured to death.
Pedzani reportedly killed herself two weeks ago in a detention cell at the Kutlwano police station. It is reported that the deceased, who was buried over the weekend in Bobonong, committed suicide after being taken into custody by police on allegations of common theft.
It is alleged that she was detained on suspicion of stealing three cellular phones and $600 from a Zimbabwean man at Marang Hotel where she had spent a night with the man. The deceased person's mother, Sapelo Mosala, said in an interview that she was raised from her sleep on Wednesday by horrifying and startling reports from a relative who misrepresented their situation to the public. She stated that the deceased uncle misrepresented the family by acknowledging that her daughter killed herself.
Sapelo said they intend to seek legal advice so that they can get justice as they believe the said post-mortem report is far from the truth. “Despite the post-mortem results, I am convinced that there was foul play,” said Sapelo. She further said the post-mortem results indicate that her daughter committed suicide but the condition of the deceased’s body shows that she might have been tortured. "When we visited my daughter at the mortuary, her head was swollen and covered with bruises.
It was not easy to recognise her," the mother claimed. She said that they were informed by the same relative who was in Bobonong for the funeral proceedings that her daughter had suffered harm. She further said that because her daughter had been taken from her, she had laid her to rest with a broken heart. She explained that her cousin, who resides here, was told by one of her late daughter's friends, who was present when she was taken away, that Pedzani was not in the proper state when he last saw her at the Kutlwano police station.
The family was told by the same friend that Pedzani had been beaten and was having trouble breathing. She went on to say that when they requested the police to take her to hospital, they were threatened with arrest. Sapelo alleged that the same acquaintance emphasised the need for her to get to Francistown as soon as possible in order to save her daughter. “It was a made-up claim that she killed herself with a jacket. Her neck was quite broad, therefore, I don't think she took her life with a jacket.
The police also contradicted themselves. At first, it reported that my daughter attempted suicide by using a pair of jeans. There were also blood stains on the jacket she allegedly used to kill herself,” she said. She alleged that the police were hiding something regarding her daughter's death. Neo Mosala, Pedzani's sister, also visited the scene where her sister allegedly committed suicide. She said, "I went there expecting some kind of solid explanation regarding to what exactly transpired but the information the police gave me wasn’t satisfactory." Neo stated that her sister was purportedly in a jail cell with a Zimbabwean woman before she committed suicide, as was previously reported. She claims that she was denied the opportunity to meet with the Zimbabwean woman.
"I was told that the Zimbabwean woman had been released and that the police officer was not feeling well after witnessing the episode. They would also give the contact details of the Zimbabwean woman. "My suspicions about foul play were raised when I called the same number with the law enforcement officer it rang unanswered." She vowed that they would stop at nothing to ensure her sister received justice and that they might finally move on. She described Pedzani as a hard worker who was also loving and free-spirited.
“Pedzani my best friend and I will make sure that we find out what happened to her so that she can rest peacefully and we may find closure ,” she added. In response to the allegations ,Botswana Police Service (BPS) deputy public relations officer , Senior Superintendent Near Bagali said the post-mortem report proves beyond reasonable doubt that that the deceased killed herself.
He said that death on its own nature is emotional and as soon as it settles in they will be able to accept. Bagali indicated that a representative from the family who was part of the delegation sent was convinced that Pedzani committed suicide. He further said that they dealt with the matter professionally as they were transparent to the deceased family to prove that there was no foul play.