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Good neighbours bad lovers

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Molepolole man charged with threatening to kill girlfriend

TEXT BREAKER: “Fear tried to overpower me but I tried my best, begging him not to kill me and promising him that we can make a better future together!”

Allegedly overcome by a jealous rage, a Molepolole man is accused of threatening to kill his lover after finding her at home with a male neighbour.

The accused, 58-year-old Mangole Rantimane, reportedly threatened to murder his girlfriend of seven months, Lebogang Kootshole, by uttering the warning, “This is the end of you and me. I will be going to prison and will be released while you will be dead!”

The threat was allegedly made on 30 October 2019.

Charged with threat to kill, the unemployed Lekgwapheng ward resident was arrested and then let out on bail in November. However, his freedom was short-lived and his bail revoked for breaking one of the conditions.

Ordered to stay away from the complainant, Rantimane went straight to Kootshole’s house almost immediately after he had been released from prison.

He has been locked up ever since.

Appearing for mention before Molepolole Magistrate Court, Rantimane angrily reapplied for bail, gesticulating animatedly and complaining loudly about the slow progress in his case.

Unimpressed with the accused’s unruly behaviour, presiding Magistrate, Kefilwe Resheng – who was taking charge of the case for the first time – postponed the matter until 19 March.

“Hopefully by then he will have learnt how to communicate properly!” she remarked, before sending the suspect back to jail.

“Madam, I was born talking like that. I nearly refused to get on the dock. It’s like the court only listens to the police and they are the one’s judging us!” retorted Rantimane, whose fiery court appearance was in stark contrast to the laidback, cheerful demeanour he displayed outside the courtroom.

Speaking to The Voice shortly after the heated mention, 49-year-old Kootshole claimed the trouble started when her neighbour came round to charge his phone at her house.

“He [Rantimane] suspected the man was my boyfriend. He did not want to see me with other men including my customers who buy clothes from me. He asked me for some water, which after drinking he told me to accompany him to the bedroom. I escaped but he followed me holding an okapi knife.”

Speaking in hushed tones, the mother-of-seven – none of which are Rantimane’s children – says her boyfriend dragged her to the bush, where he beat her repeatedly with a tyre belt.

“Fear tried to overpower me but I tried my best, begging him not to kill me and promising him that we can make a better future together!” continued Kootshole, who says Rantimane then marched her to his sister’s yard, calling his nephews to come out and watch ‘how he was going to kill a dog’.

FRIGHTENED: Kootshole

She claims Rantimane’s relatives did not try and intervene but merely stood by watching.

“I was warned not to scream,” added the visibly shaken woman, her glasses steaming up at the memory.

According to Kootshole, Rantimane continued assaulting her with the belt and dragged her through thorns.

“I was eventually rescued by the police and soldiers who were alerted by my uncle’s wife.”

Talking about her relationship, Kootshole revealed she was widowed in March 2003 and had only been with Rantimane for seven months.

“He stayed with his sister. I always advised him to look for temporary jobs so that he could have his own yard but he never listened.

“I am afraid of him. I cannot sleep, I am now living with fear,” concluded Kootshole, the terror evident in her tired eyes.

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How Gov bluddered on first Corona virus death

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*Hundreds exposed to the virus

Government secrecy and unreliable communication this week dealt a devastating blow to the fight against Corona virus, exposing hundreds of people to infection in Gaborone and surrounding areas.

As people reeled from the announcement of the first Corona Virus death in the country on Tuesday afternoon, it has emerged that government had known about the 79- year- old Ramotswa woman’s status since Thursday last week and concealed the information both to the family and mortuary that handled her body.

On Wednesday afternoon traumatised Babereki Ka Lorato Mortuary staff spoke of how they were unnecessarily exposed to the deadly virus.

Speaking in an interview with The Voice Newspaper on Wednesday, the concerned Chairman of the mortuary, Martin Gabokake said the woman was brought in a body bag on Friday.

“Our employees asked why someone who had died at Bamalete Lutheran hospital a day before was brought in a body bag and they were told she died of asthma, and so they let the body in and handled it in the manner they normaly handle all other bodies,” Gabobake explained.

He went on further to explain that it was only yesterday that to their shock and horror the staff was told of the true nature of the old woman’s passing.
“ Had we been told the truth to begin with, the body would have been handled in a safer way. The fact that they brought her in a body bag means they new something and they blatantly lied to us,” Gabobake said.

Her funeral was also not accorded the security screening associated with Covid-19 deaths, a source has revealed. Health officials have since asked villagers who had attended the old woman’s funeral to submit for testing as they to may have been exposed to the virus.

This was another terrible blunder by government. Had they disclosed that the old woman had died of COVID -19 or even told us that she was a suspected case, most of us would have kept away,” said the source.

Meanwhile government moved to quarantine 14 family members on Tuesday. All mortuary employees and close associates of the woman were also locked up for observation on Wednesday.

Colleagues of the deceased grandson, who works for a local hotel, have also been summoned for mandatory testing.

“Her grandson (name known to this publication) continued working with us and it was business as usual. He did not know his grandmother had the virus and died from it. They were very close. He is the one who took care of her and took her for hospital visits,” the worried colleague has revealed.

Efforts to get a comment from the grandson were futile at the time of going to press. In a telephone interview from quarantine he told The Voice that he wished for privacy.

Botswana has recorded one death as a result of the COVID-19 with three positive cases currently stable at the Sir Ketumile Teaching Hospital in Gaborone.

There are 189 negative results, 593 lab test performed and 1856 people currently on quarantine.

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Politicians clash over Covid-19 meeting

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The fight against Covid-19 stepped into the periphery of partisan politics this week as the absence of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) leaders sparked accusations and counter-accusations over their invitation to President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s closed meeting.

UDC President, Duma Boko and party vice president, Dumelang Saleshando, were not part of the delegation that attended the three-hour long meeting.

Although Masisi stated that Boko, like other party leaders was invited, the UDC has vehemently denied the claim.

In a press release that was issued last night the UDC said. “We have noted the events that have been evolving around the Covid-19 pandemic, its a serious matter that requires all of us to work genuinely. We value and encourage national dialogue on important matters such as the fight against Covid 19. The truth is that the UDC president has not received any invitation from Office of the President and we call OP to provide proof.”

However, when the UDC Spokesperson, Moeti Mohwasa was asked about calls made to him by OP, he said, ” I was asked about Boko’s whereabouts by Kaelo Molefe and I told him I was in Phikwe. I asked him to check him at his house. This morning I got another call from Professor Mpho Molomo who said he had Boko’s invitation to a meeting with President Masisi and I suggested that they go to his house, an address which is popular within the government enclave. I indicated to him that I had received a similar call from Kaelo Molefhe and he said he was with him. Kaelo knows where Boko stays having been his associate in the build-up to the 2014 General Elections. So quite frankly I doubt he would say he does not know Boko’s house. As regards Nick and Keorapetse I cannot comment on their behalf, ” explained Mohwasa last night.

Dithapelo Keorapetse too said that the OP was being playful. “Why would they contact me for DGB? They are aware of his PA, VP, Secretary General, Spokesperson and UDC NEC. These are the people from who to check him. Whoever wants the UDC President from me for official things is playing. The state has been to his house several times. How did they suddenly forget his place of abode? Even Kaelo knows Boko’s House from his UDC days, ” said Keorapetse.

The accusations did not go well with the BDP Chairman of Communications, Kagelelo Kentse, who expressed concern that the UDC was turning a pandemic into a political mudsling.

He said that all efforts including calls, text, WhatsApp messages to Boko, Moeti, Keorapetse and Boko’s bodyguard were made without any success. “There is a communication trail to prove this. UDC must know when to come to the table and be patriotic on issues on national interest such as COVID-19, its very disappointing for a party calling themselves an alternative government to behave in this manner but Batswana are watching and we know they will punish them for this.”

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