Hangman’s noose brings relief to grieving family
His cries for mercy rejected by court, President and finally the hangman, 33-year-old Wedu Mosalagae was executed in the early hours of Monday 8 February.
The convicted killer was hanged for the 2012 murder of his girlfriend, Barobi Rampape, whose throat he reportedly slit with such force that her head was barely attached to her body when her remains were discovered two days later.
Mosalagae’s death made international news, with the Western world quick to condemn Botswana for her use of capital punishment.
Closer to home, however, and Rampape’s loved ones insist Mosalagae got exactly what he deserved.
Her older brother, Peter Rampape, 36, tells The Voice the execution has finally bought the family peace.
“Since she died, I always dreamt of her telling me she has injuries on her neck and that she has problems with her eyes, she cannot see properly. The reoccurring dream was haunting me as I could see my sister’s soul was not resting in peace. I would visit her grave and prayed that she rests well,” reveals Peter, adding quietly, “It is done, she can rest in peace now.”
Peter’s nightmares have also stopped. He is confident they will not return.
“My sister was a nice person, she did not deserve to die like that. I am now happy that I will never see that stranger [Mosalagae] when I walk around the world. Barobi’s death left me empty emotionally because we were very close. It really affected me and after her passing I was always angry.”
Rampape was 24 at the time of her murder and worked as a nurse at Letlhakane Primary Hospital.
Her decomposed, blood splattered corpse was found on 26 November 2012 at the rented accommodation she shared with Mosalagae.
“If I could have met her killer I would have done something wrong on him. He is lucky he went to stay at Maun after he was granted bail,” added Peter, speaking in even tones and displaying little emotion despite the chilling implication behind his words.
Describing capital punishment as ‘a good sentence’, the Molepolole man is adamant the hangman’s noose acts as a deterrent to others.
“People can learn from those executed so they stop this Gender Based Violence in Botswana,” he concluded optimistically.
Another who will not be shedding tears over Mosalagae’s fate is Malebogo Rampape, who says he execution has brought her closure.
The 46-year-old is Rampape’s elder sister, raising and taking care of her when she was a child.
“Our mother was living a fearful life as she thought Mosalagae would come to our place anytime. After we told her he was hanged she was relieved. Mosalagae robbed us of the person we were all looking at as she was now a nurse. At least she will now rest in peace as the sentence of her killer went accordingly,” said Malebogo.
The youngest member of the family, Ronnie Rampape, 30, said he was delighted when he learnt of Mosalagae’s death.
“I remember when he was committed to the High Court and I attended the case, I was very angry that I thought of doing something to him. But because there was no how I can, I cried to relieve the pain,” he revealed.
Sentenced to death by Francistown High Court in 2019, the Mmatshumu native looked to the Appeal of Court for clemency last August.
However, his plea for life was unsuccessful by two Judges votes to one.