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Mother-of-seven survives axe-attack

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*Boyfriend arrested in connection with grisly incident

A 40-year-old mother-of-seven from Tonota is currently bed-ridden in Nyangabgwe Hospital after being cut down with an axe, allegedly wielded by her boyfriend.

Gosegomang Ramanganeng suffered a broken left leg and deep cuts to her lower right leg during the frenzied attack, which took place in the early hours of Saturday morning at her parent’s home in Tholotsane ward.

“I am lucky to be alive; I see his plan was to kill me. I only survived because I managed to grab the axe so he does not finish me off,” a weary Ramanganeng tells The Voice from her hospital bed.

Her boyfriend of over six years, the father of two of her children, Tikologo Moremi has been arrested in connection with the incident.

The 47-year-old appeared before Francistown Magistrates Court on Tuesday charged with causing grievous bodily harm.

When asked if he had anything to say, Moremi requested bail, telling court there was no-one to take care of his livestock.

“I did not hack her with an axe. I beat her with the behind of the axe,” added the accused, who was remanded in custody and will next appear in court on 24 February.

The news that her lover has been locked up, at least temporarily, causes Ramanganeng to smile for the first time since the interview started.

“Tikologo has been harassing me for a long time. Last week he told me he would leave me crippled,” she says, glumly looking down at her two legs, which are bound in thick white bandages, before adding with a sad sigh, “And it has happened!”

The injured woman has just received an injection to numb her pain and is in a talkative mood.

Casting her mind back to the night of the incident, Ramanganeng says, “I was sleeping with our children at their house as my instincts warned me not to sleep in our room. He thought I was not home. When he found me he took an axe and hit me.”

Describing her boyfriend as an abusive man with a fiery temper, Ramanganeng claims she reported him to both Tonota Police and the Customary Court ‘many times’.

“But they did nothing!” she exclaims bitterly.

“Sometimes, when he is angry, I am too scared to sleep. When he comes home he just kicks the door open and demands to know where ‘my boyfriends’ are; he is always accusing me of cheating!”

With one broken leg and the bones in the other badly splintered, Ramanganeng, the family breadwinner, is fearful for the future.

“I just feel for my six children I left with my 23-year-old daughter. We have been surviving from the money I got from doing piece jobs, washing and cleaning for people. Now I wonder how we are going to survive when I am crippled. I have a disabled child who gets food from the social workers but that won’t sustain us,” she ends miserably, desperately blinking back tears.

Meanwhile, when contacted for a comment, Tonota Station Commander Oteng Ngada told The Voice, “It was reported that they fought when the man assumed the girlfriend was cheating after she came home in the night. The woman is said to have gone drinking and came around 3 in the morning and the fight ensued.”

It was a comment that Ramanganeng angrily refuted.

“No, that’s not true. I was at home sleeping with my children,” she insisted.

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Sangomas’ fatal battle

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Trio implicated in rival’s fiery death

Three traditional doctors in Serowe will have their spiritual powers put to the test as they race against time to escape a possible death penalty for the gruesome murder of a rival medicine man on 19th February.

The trio of Keitumetse Dudu Seakane, 34, Phaphane Jack, 27, and Gladys Dintwa, 52, is accused of burning Mhanje Raplanka alive at his home in Itsokwane Farms, just a few kilometers from Moiyabana.

The three sangomas, who were granted bail by Serowe Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 19th March, appeared again for mention this Monday.

Speaking to The Voice, No. 2 District Officer Commanding, Paul Oketsang, confirmed the trio has been charged with the 67-year-old Raplanka’s murder.

However, the top cop would not go into detail as the matter is sensitive and still under investigation.

In an exclusive, emotional interview with this publication, a family spokesperson revealed they received a call at midnight on February 19th from concerned neighbours at the usually quite lands.

“They said people were killing our father and we should rush as quickly as possible to fetch him as he needed medical attention,” narrated the source, who pleaded to remain anonymous as he still has to give evidence in court.

The spokesperson is convinced the mastermind behind the cold-blooded murder was Gladys, the deceased’s niece.

“From what we learnt after the old man’s death, Gladys, who’s a traditional doctor, had once asked her uncle to pass on his shrine to her, a request he flatly rejected.”

According to the source, the holy shrine in the middle of the elderly man’s farm has long been a source of envy for Gladys, who desperately needed it to fortify herself.

Narrating his version of events from the fateful night, the family member claimed the trio drove together in a Honda Fit owned by Jack, parking close to the corrugated mud hut where an unsuspecting Raplanka lay sleeping.

“Gladys remained behind in the car, while Keitumetse and Phaphane proceeded to the house. They took a bath at the gate before entering the yard,” The Voice was told.

Suspects

The two sangomas allegedly doused the house in petrol before setting it on fire.

“From what we heard, the old man somehow managed to break through the door before he was completely consumed by fire. But they knocked him down with a log and poured more petrol on his burning body,” said the source, who remained remarkably calm considering his gory narrative.

Convinced Raplanka was dead, the two men reportedly returned to the car and fled the scene.

“Miraculously, he managed to extinguish the fire and staggered to the next yard, about a kilometre away, where he narrated his ordeal and named his attackers. It was the neighbours who alerted us and the police,” continued the family insider.

According to the source, a police van arrived an hour later to pick the badly burnt old man, who unfortunately died on the way to the hospital, a few kilometers from Moiyabana.

The suspects were arrested around noon the next day.

They are due back in court for mention on 2nd June.

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Botswana confirms four (4) cases of Covid-19

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  1. As noted yesterday Botswana has confirmed 3 cases of Covid-19. We now report a fourth Covid-19 case, this case is of a 79 old lady from Ramotswa who unfortunately demised on the 25th March, 2020 and was buried over the weekend on the 28th March 2020. She had travelled to Motswedi, South Africa on the 14 March 2020 and returned the following day on the 15th March 2020.

She started showing symptoms on the 21 March 2020 and later developed fever. It was noted that she had a significant other, comorbidities. On return from Motswedi she was kept on home quarantine from where she was brought to Bamalete Lutheran Hospital.

She was seen in Accident and Emergency and put under mandatory quarantine where she died on the 25 March 2020, and burial conducted with the necessary precautions of someone suspected to have highly an infectious disease.

Contact tracing is currently underway and so far 14 have been identified, quarantined and tested for Covid-19. Results are awaited.
Regarding the previous 3 cases we would like the Nation to note the following:

  1. The first case is a 47-year-old male, Motswana who came from Basingstoke, travelled to the United Kingdom on the 29th February 2020 and returned on the 21st March 2020. At the time of arrival the patient was asymptomatic.

The patient developed a fever (>38°C), coughing and running shortness of breath, the patient was swabbed on the 28th March 2020. The patient was tested at the National Health Laboratory (NHL) and also referred to National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) in South Africa.

  1. The second case is a 40-year-old female Motswana who travelled with her husband to Thailand on the 10th March 2020 and returned to Botswana on 20th March 2020 through Dubai, and through OR Tambo and SSKI.

The lady developed sore throat, was coughing and had a headache.

She was swabbed on the 27th March 2020. The patient was tested at the National Health Laboratory (NHL) and also referred to National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) in South Africa.

  1. The third case is a 42-year-old male Motswana who travelled with his wife to Thailand on the 10th March 2020 and returned to Botswana on 20th March 2020 through Dubai, and through OR Tambo and SSKI.

The male was coughing with a temperature of 37.8°C. He was swabbed on the 27th March 2020. The patient was tested at the National Health Laboratory (NHL) and also referred to National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) in South Africa.

As we face this challenge I call upon you my Countryman to stand together in unity as we fight this scourge. We together shall prevail. We have done this before and we shall do it again.

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