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Independence day nightmare



30 September 2018 is an Independence Day Josephine Moetse will never forget – but for all the wrong reasons!

On that summer night over two years ago, two armed men broke into Moetse’s home in Maun’s Ghabara ward, beat her up, abducted her and drove her into the middle of the bush.

Having tied her up, the thieves, after unsuccessfully attempting to withdraw money from her account, drove back to town in Moetse’s car, leaving the frightened woman abandoned in the bush.

On Tuesday, Maun Magistrate Court convicted 43-year-old Moagi Gabantheetse and Zimbabwean national, Lloyd Choto, 37, of robbery and theft of a motor vehicle.

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The duo will be sentenced on 1 December.

However, Moetse remains haunted by her ordeal and is terrified the two men will return ‘to hurt her again’.

Speaking to Okavango Voice shortly after Tuesday’s judgment, instead of seeming relieved, the anxious lady was in obvious turmoil.

Explaining how the incident completely derailed her life, Moetse said, “I lived in a lot of fear, I would hallucinate at times.

“I had to move to my mother’s house because I couldn’t stay by myself. One of the men said he is going to ‘blast me’ when he comes out, I just hope they will be put in jail for a long time!”

In her testimony, Moetse told court that on the night of the robbery, she was awoken by the alarm going off at around 2am.

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As she left her bedroom to switch it off, she immediately stumbled into two men who had covered their faces with woolly masks.

The intruders were both armed, one with a pick-axe and the other a machete.

“They immediately attacked me with fists and kicks. They dragged me outside the house and I tried to scream for help but they threatened to kill me so I kept quiet,” testified Moetse.

In her evidence, she explained the duo then forced her back into the house where they demanded money.

“I gave them my handbag and they took P300 from it. They took my cellphone and ATM card and asked for the pin. There after they tied me up and drove me in my car to an unfamiliar bush where Choto left me with Gabantheetse while he went to cash out the money from my account.”

After failing to withdraw the money, the two assailants left Moetse tied-up in the bush.

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She eventually managed to free herself and ran towards the nearest homestead, where she borrowed a phone and called the police.

Her car was found abandoned in a field along Maun’s Route 9 later that day.

When passing judgment, Maun Chief Magistrate, Thebeetsile Mulalo noted the prosecution, with the help of their 20 witnesses, had proven their case beyond reasonable doubt.

“The two accused raised an issue of alibi but the court does not accept it. They would have informed the Investigating Officer during investigations,” reasoned Mulalo.

In total, Gabantheetse and Choto made away with various items worth P5, 510 during the robbery – objects which have since been returned. Moetse would give them all up again in a heartbeat in exchange for her peace of mind!

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