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Booze and blood

JOINED AT THE CUFF: Petros (white top) and Oaitse awaiting court to start

Man hacked to death after drinking spree

Growing tensions between rival gangs, fuelled by the destructive power of booze, is believed to be behind a murder in Matsiloje at the weekend.

Kgalemang Baliki, 27, died on Saturday evening, breathing his last in the back of an ambulance as the van sped for Nyangabgwe Hospital.

Earlier that day, Baliki was hacked down with an axe in the border village’s Bothaba ward, where he had reportedly been drinking at a bar.

His suspected attackers, 21-year-old Pelontle Petros and Kgomotso Oaitse, 26, were also seen knocking back the beers in the same chilling spot.

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The two men, rumoured to be members of a rival gang from a different part of Matsiloje, have since been arrested and charged with murder.

Looking battered and bruised during their brief appearance before Francistown Magistrate Court on Tuesday, the duo revealed they intend to conduct their own defence.

Oaitse’s mum in particular was upset at her son’s state, loudly accusing the police of beating up her boy, while he quietly sipped on Mageu she had bought him.

For his part, the Investigating Officer (IO), Thebe Molathegi, told court he was on duty on the night of the murder.

“I received a call that someone had been badly injured. I sent officers to attend the scene and they found that he was already taken to the clinic. They went to see him at the clinic and they informed me the situation was bad. He was referred to Nyangabgwe and unfortunately died when they were passing Sepope veterinary gate.”

Molathegi also stated the preliminary investigations pointed to the two accused, further noting that when he confronted them, they did not deny the accusations. He revealed police have since retrieved the suspected murder weapon, while the clothes the accused were wearing on the night of the killing have been sent to the lab for DNA analysis.

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Pleading for the suspected killers to be remanded in custody, the IO added, “I also cannot guarantee their safety as the community’s tempers are still high. And the postmortem has not yet been conducted too.”

He duly got his wish, with both Petros and Oaitse told they would remain behind bars until their next court appearance, set for 13 December.

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