Man butchers longtime lover before hanging himself
The last time they appeared in The Voice, Gape Nakisani Tanjo and Baitseng Moikothai had just won Valentine’s weekend away at Metcourt Hotel.
The lovebirds, well-known figures in Francistown, especially in Block 1 where they lived together, were the epitome of happiness.
That was in February 2019.
This Saturday, in the early hours of the morning, the couple’s blood-soaked bodies were discovered in Tati River near Somerset East location.
38-year-old Moikothai’s corpse was found dangling from a tree on the banks of the river, a combination of wire and rope wrapped tightly around his neck.
Police recovered Tanjo’s body a few meters away, covered in flies and dumped in a shallow pond. She had sustained several cuts to the head and multiple stab wounds to her body.
It is believed Moikothai killed his 36-year-old girlfriend before taking his own life.
Two days later, when The Voice visited the deceased’s rundown rented home deep in the centre of Block 1, we found the house vacant.
The couple’s family removed all their furniture the night before.
“Life goes on,” comments a neighbour sadly.
A tenant, who shared the yard with Tanjo and Moikothai, agrees to talk as long as his name is kept out of the paper.
In the near background lies a damaged car, which appears to have survived being set on fire very recently.
It is thought Moikathai started the blaze before carrying out his gory mission.
“When it all happened I was at work as I have a security company. I got a call in the wee hours of Saturday, at around 5, that my car was burning. I rushed home, where I found that the neighbours who were home managed to stop the fire. My car was bought two weeks back and it burnt on the tyre, bumper and back lamp.”
According to the unhappy tenant, shortly after the fire had stopped smouldering, they noticed a pair of blood-stained shorts folded on a chair on the verandah outside the couple’s house.
“The shorts belonged to Mojuta,” confirmed the source, referring to Moikothai by his nickname.
On top of the bloody garment was a Bible, which had been carefully left open. A 5 Thebe coin was nestled on the exposed pages.
Spooked by the slightly strange spectacle and fearing the worst, the tenant and his neighbours called the cops.
“Upon arrival, they knocked on Mojuta and Gape’s house but there was no answer. They opened the house. It was obvious no one had spent the night there. We were all shocked at where they could be. What worried us most was the bloodied shorts and burnt car,” continued the source.
His worst fears were confirmed hours later.
“During the day we heard that their bodies were found by the river. I do not know what could have transpired between them. But what I do know is that they used to fight a lot. Even though we suspect Mojuta could be the one who burnt my car, I do not know why he would do so. I did not have any misunderstandings with the two!”
Meanwhile, Kutlwano Station Commander, Neo Serumola confirmed his officers are investigating a suspected murder/suicide case in Somerset East.
“It was reported on Saturday after a passerby found a man hanging from a tree and a woman’s body lying motionless in a pond. We suspect the man killed her before hanging himself,” said Serumola, adding this was the first incident of its kind to happen in his jurisdiction this year.
“We urge people not to take matters into their own hands,” continued the top cop.
Sadly, his advice comes too late for a couple that 19 months ago, seemed to have nothing but love for each other.
However, although he would not go into detail, Serumola hinted the lovers’ relationship was far from rosy.
“The deceased couple had ‘some cases’ before us that I cannot reveal,” stated the police boss firmly.
In a final, heartbreaking detail, on 21 September, Tanjo, a Tutume native and prominent Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) activist, changed her Facebook profile picture to include a message that read ‘STOP violence against women’. Just five days later, she became the latest victim of Gender-Based Violence in Botswana.