NO CHARGE FOR BUFFALO POACHING, FOUR MONTHS LATER
It is almost four months since North West District Council (NWDC) Chairperson, Kebareeditse Ntsogotho, was badly injured in an encounter with a buffalo on the outskirts of his home village, Khwai.
Although the chairman maintained he was attacked while trying to help some of his community members escape the marauding animal, the police treated the case as a poaching matter and called him in for questioning.
To date, however, Ntsogotho has not been charged over the incident.
“The police took a written statement from me. But as of today, they have not laid a charge against me and I have not heard if they have charged anyone else either,” stated the Chairman in an exclusive interview with Okavango Voice this Tuesday.
Ntsogotho was gored by a charging buffalo on 10 May. He sustained a deep cut to his left thigh and fainted during the ordeal, only regaining consciousness in hospital hours later.
He claims to have been preparing to return to Maun for a council meeting when villagers called him to the scene on that fateful Sunday afternoon.
According to Ntsogotho, a group of nine or so men had gone fishing when they were attacked by a buffalo. Fearing for their lives, he says the group called him begging for help.
“They had called wildlife officers who were taking long to respond. Their lives were in imminent danger. I have a gun, my father has a gun, so I had to respond because the men were in need of more bullets. Theirs had run out when they were trying to defend themselves against the beast,” reiterated Ntsogotho, adding the men eventually managed to shoot the buffalo down.
He insists there was never a cause for anyone to suspect poaching in the first place and suspects the allegation were fuelled by his political opponents in a bid to remove him from the District’s high seat by sending him to jail.
Meanwhile, Maun Police Station Commander, Chenamo Orateng has distanced himself from the matter and says the case is ‘beyond’ him.
Additionally, Officer Commanding for District 5, Peter Gochela this week told Okavango Voice that the matter is still under investigation.
“We will know at the end if there is a case that needs to be pursued or not,” he said simply.