• Abused and murdered woman reported threats to kill before- Uncle
•We are investigating if there was Police negligence- Mbulawa
As gender Based Violence (GBV) cases continue to rock the country, the brutal murder of a woman of Manaladi in the Central District has come back to haunt the Botswana Police Service.
The Voice can confirm that the incident has left a dark stain on the police record as they lanch an investigation into whether there was negligence by law enforcement officers as alleged by the family of 31- year- old Orabile Kepaletswe who was brutally killed by her new lover in full view of villagers after he allegedly kidnapped and physically abused her to the extent of slitting her vagina.
Speaking in an interview, Senior Assistant Police Commissioner Christopher Mbulawa said, “I can confirm I had a meeting with the family just this morning (Wednesday). They have made allegations and we have agreed that whilst we will also carry out investigations to find out whether our officers were negligent, they too should furnish us with any proof that there were previous reports.”
The suspected killer, Onneile Lerato has since been arrested for the murder of Kepaletswe and remanded in custody.
Kepaletswe’s distraught uncle, Onthatile Saboi who spoke on behalf of the family told of her constant plea for help from the police.
“They started dating around the past independence holidays (September) but three weeks back she went missing and did not pick up her phone so we started to worry. We filed a missing person report to the Police who helped us look for her,” Saboi said.
He further said that after a week of searching she was found in a sorry state at a nearby village- Gootau at Lerato’s house.
“She told us that for the week we were looking for her he would wake her up early in the morning and take her to a hill where they stayed until late evening. He would then take her back to his home in the evening where he would continuously assault her, “revealed the uncle.
It is further alleged that leading to her death she was unable to walk because he had sliced her vagina with a knife in a fit of rage.
“He had been sending her messages threatening to kill her. She reported to the Police but the policeman she spoke to chided her for calling him on his personal mobile phone before hanging up on her.
She then called thee emergency number, 999, which was answered in Francistown. They eventually came but instead advised her to seek counseling,” Saboi further alleged.
The family is adamant that had the Police taken action instead of advising her to seek counseling Kepaletswe would be alive.
Last week Thursday, the abuser visited her at her place of work. She tried to seek refuge from her male co-workers, but as soon as he came charging with a brick in his hand all the men fled.
“He stabbed her twice on the back, the third stab slit her right breast apart. It looks like she died on the spot because she was gone by the time she got to the hospital,” the uncle further told The Voice.
Mbulawa confirmed that they were aware of the allegations and were working with the family for further information and proof.
“If there was anyone of us who did not do what they were supposed to do, necessary action will be taken. It is unfortunate a life has been lost but as the Police we take issues of Gender Based Violence (GBV) very serious.”
This week, President Mokgweetsi Masisi issued a directive that the courts should treat all cases of GBV as urgent instead of following the normal slow court process