The head was six metres away from the body
Her arm, breasts and other parts above the waist were missing but the family can’t tell whether the missing parts were harvested by people or eaten by animals.
56-year-old Sophie Molebatsi was reported missing on February 10th, 2022 and her picture published on Botswana Police Facebook page.
Molepolole Police Station commander, Superintendent Benedict Matlho, confirmed that Molebatsi was reported missing last month and later found dead and decomposed at a farm in Gamodubu on Thursday.
Although there was an intensive search for Molebatsi in Gamodubu, Gakgatla and surrounding areas by the public, with assistance of the police vehicle and helicopter, Molebatsi could not be found then.
On Monday when The Voice team visited Gamodubu village, the residents and the family were still trying to figure out how Molebatsi could have entered the fenced and locked farm to go and die where her decomposed body was found.
“The deceased was found just some few meters near the fence where people pass, the farm is not bushy as you can see, so how could we have not spotted the body lying in plain sight all these days she has been missing,” said the farm owner, Kelemogile Booja.
The traumatised 59-year-old Booja revealed that they were shocked after the police informed them that the fence had been slightly cut on one side.
“We suspect that whoever cut the fence did it to gain entry and dump the body. We also want to know what transpired, we really feel unprotected and we are afraid,” Booja lamented.
Meanwhile, Molebatsi’s fourth-born child, 28-year-old Kabo Samuel, said since August last year his mother had been saying there were people who wanted to kill her.
“When I visited her at my sister’s place where she was being cared for, she had locked herself inside the bedroom and she only opened for me after she heard my voice and confirmed that indeed it was me.
“After I got inside the bedroom, she quickly locked again saying she could see people brandishing knives and threatening to kill her. I just thought she was being attacked by mental illness,” explained the heartbroken Samuel.
The Mandunyane native revealed that when they realised that his mother’s health was deteriorating, they took her to a church in Gakgatla for prayers.
He said the pastor prayed for her and she got better but, just before she could return home, she went missing.
“We searched for about three weeks before we decided to engage a traditional doctor, Rabeisane from Mmopane, to assist. He directed us to Gakgatla where we conducted a three-day search with Rabeisane until village authorities stopped us as they feared the search might lead to a protest from angry villagers,” said Samuel.
Explaining how they found their mother, the distressed son said, “We identified her by her deformed hand. To our surprise, she was wearing different clothes from the clothes she had on when she left the church. Her children and those who accommodated her do not know the clothes she was found wearing. Her arm, breasts and other parts above the waist were missing but we can’t tell whether the missing parts were harvested by people or eaten by animals. Her head was also found about six metres away from the body and the relatives and church members who went to view the scene found her collar bone around the farm, far from her body.”
Molebatsi was found wearing a black, long-sleeved t-shirt, green jersey and long grey tights while she was last seen wearing a white t-shirt with a green and brown cloth and barefooted.
Although he could not shake-off suspicions that his mother was murdered, Samuel said as for now there were no suspects.
Meanwhile, Gospel of God Church Pastor, Nhamo Jacob, who accommodated and prayed for Molebatsi, told this publication that she went missing when he was away.
He said that when he questioned Molebatsi’s seven-year-old daughter about her mother’s whereabouts, she said that the old woman had stepped outside the church to answer the phone and never returned.
Pastor Jacob further said that they tried calling her for the first two days but the phone rang unanswered before it was switched off.
Unfortunately, the phone, which could reveal the name of the last caller, is missing.
The family was still awaiting the post-mortem and DNA report before they could bury Molebatsi’s remaining body parts.