“I am going to kill you before our court case goes for judgment,” is the chilling promise Tikologo Moremi allegedly made to his longtime lover, Gosigomang Ramanganeng.
Reportedly uttered on 1 April, this was no April Fools.
Indeed, Ramanganeng, 41, knows only too well the violence her boyfriend is capable of.
In February last year, the Tonota native spent three weeks in a hospital bed after being repeatedly hacked in the legs with an axe. She named 43-year-old Moremi as her attacker.
14 months later, and although she escaped amputation, Ramanganeng still walks with a severe limp.
She is unable to work and relies heavily on Moremi to provide for her and her seven children, two of whom were fathered by the man she claims put her in a hospital bed.
Arraigned before Francistown Magistrates Court on Tuesday charged with threat to kill, Moremi protested his innocence.
However, he was remanded in custody after the Investigating Officer (IO), Inspector Gaditshwane Bathoeng noted the suspect’s past actions prove he has the ability to carry out such a threat.
“He has an outstanding matter of assault occasioning and causing grievous bodily harm in which he is alleged to have used an axe and broke the victim’s legs. The victim said since his release he has been threatening to kill her before judgment. If he is to be released he is likely to kill the victim,” maintained Bathoeng.
Shortly after Moremi was carted off to the cells, where he will stay until at least next Friday (16 April) when he is due back in court, The Voice travelled to the outskirts of Tonota to talk to Ramanganeng.
She displays little emotion at learning her boyfriend has been kept in prison.
The unfenced yard, home to Ramanganeng, her seven children, two grandkids and Moremi, consists of two, small, crumbling mud huts. A third structure remains unfinished. There is no running water and electricity is a distant dream.
Giving her version of events, Ramanganeng says Moremi returned home in an agitated state on 29 March after appearing for mention in his GBH case.
She claims he asked her to write a formal letter dropping the charges against him.
“I refused to write the letter because I can’t easily forgive when I nearly died,” she explains simply, subconsciously rubbing her maimed legs.
Whilst Ramanganeng says they have been getting on reasonably well since Moremi was bailed ‘around May last year’, the recent altercation brought her old nightmares flooding back.
“He barely slept between 29th and 30th and it got me scared because I wondered what he was thinking. He said he can’t go to prison leaving me with another man so it is better he kills me. I am not cheating and don’t know which man he could be talking about!”
Although the romance has bore two children, Ramanganeng admits her nine-year relationship with Moremi, who is originally from Palapye, has been plagued by unhappiness.
“Since 2012 I have been reporting and withdrawing his cases at the police because he assists me with the children but now I am tired and scared. He is the one buying food for us but I see that I will die leaving children because of food,” says Ramanganeng, the last survivor of four siblings.
Both her parents are late and life is tough.
“As you can see, we are suffering. We don’t have food, good shelter and even water we fetch it from far. We are being assisted by the social workers with P500 and it is not enough.
“At the hospital I was told not to carry anything heavy because my legs are too weak, held together by metal pins. It is hard for me to fend for my children,” she says miserably, before ending with a desperate plea.
“We ask for help from any good Samaritan.”