Slain man’s brother urges police to catch mystery killer
Two days before his 22nd birthday, at around 8pm on Friday evening, Bangu Lowani was stabbed to death in the centre of Francistown.
The brutal, seemingly unprovoked murder has sent shockwaves across the city.
Five days later and the young dad’s killer remains at large.
A talented footballer and a popular figure in Ghetto, Bangu’s devastated family are struggling to understand their son’s violent end.
“Bangu was a solid person, a hard worker with a soft heart. We expected a lot from him since we lost our mother. He just got his PRDP [Professional Driving Permit] as his wish was to drive a combi,” reveals the slain man’s older brother, Jetro Lowani.
The distraught 24-year-old is speaking to The Voice from the family’s home in Extension on Wednesday morning.
Deeper in the spacious yard, youth from the location have gathered to pay their respects. Huddled together, they speak in low, sullen tones. They want to know why their friend was murdered.
As well as grief, there is a strong undertone of anger.
“What pains us more is that the person who killed my brother has not been arrested,” explains Jetro, his young, handsome face tormented with emotion.
To add to the confusion, Bangu’s killer reportedly struck out of nowhere, stabbing the young man repeatedly and then fleeing into the night without saying a word.
The rumours swirling around social media have not helped.
“People are busy posting what they are not sure of. They said he was with his girlfriend when he died, which is not true,” declares Jetro, sniffing furiously as he talks.
Detailing the final moments of his brother’s life, Jetro reveals Bangu was at home when some friends – a young couple from the neighbourhood – popped round.
“They came at around 7pm and asked Bangu to go out with them. My brother refused but the girl said, ‘Bangu you are my friend. How can you refuse to go with us?’ That is when he went with them. They were later seen in Somerset, but they were now four as they had been joined by another girl.”
Jetro has no idea how his brother ended up in Minestone, the scene of his murder.
“I wonder where was the couple when he was stabbed. I heard they tried to chase the suspect. It is not clear at all and it drives me crazy. He did not deserve to die like that!”
Challenging the police to ‘do their job’, the youth adds with a desperate plea, “It needs thorough investigating!”
Jetro is convinced his brother’s murder was not a robbery gone wrong as nothing was stolen.
He also dismissed whispers the stabbing was a revenge attack, calling such reports ‘unlikely’.
“It is true that the same couple was attacked by a thief three weeks back. We caught the thief and called the police who never showed up and we ended up releasing him. Myself, Bangu and other people were there when the thief was caught, so why would he target Bangu alone? Something does not make sense here!” he concludes, closing his eyes as if to shut out the pain.
Meanwhile, Central Station Commander, Lebalang Maniki, admitted that despite their best efforts, the cops were yet to make a breakthrough in the case.
“We are still working on a description of the suspect and hope to have a profile ready soon,” he told The Voice on Wednesday afternoon.
The top cop added that while the murder remains a mystery, he is confident his officers will solve it soon.
“We do not know what really transpired, we just heard he was attacked by an unknown, silent person, who struck without warning and then ran away. A man and woman who were walking with the deceased reported the incident to us. They said when it happened they ran for the lives. I cannot tell how many times and where he was stabbed as we are waiting for the post-mortem.”
According to Maniki, officers responding to the call rushed to the scene, where they found Bangu’s bloodied body lying motionless. He was discovered between Galo Mall and the Spaghetti flyover.
“He was taken to the hospital where he was certified dead,” said the police boss, who urged anyone with information that could lead to the suspect’s arrest to come forward.
“They will be kept anonymous,” promised Maniki.
A keen footballer who turned out for Tafa in the lower leagues, Bangu leaves behind a child. He worked at High Court as part of government’s Tirelo Sechaba scheme, with colleagues describing him as a hard-working, extremely pleasant young man.
Although a burial date is yet to be decided, Bangu will be laid to rest in his home village of Tsamaya.