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CURIOUS: Members of the public at the ongoing BDF inquest in Kasane

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Pathologist report supports BDF evidence

A report given by Consultant Forensic Pathologist Dr Kaone Mabaka is consistent with the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) chronology of events about what really transpired when four suspected poachers were gunned down on Sedudu Island.

Giving evidence at the ongoing inquest in Kasane before Regional Magistrate Taboka Mopipi, Dr Mabaka ruled out short range shot, instead stating that the presence of powder tattooing in the wounds was indicative of firing a gun from intermediate distance.

He said Pathological Range of Shooting has four stages being Close range (Few centimetres to a metre), Intermediate (few metres to several metres), Distance Range (several metres) and Contact range (in contact with the skin).

“In our examination we found no evidence of close range effect,” he said.

The doctor further revealed that when they examined the bodies, they had developed greenish discoloration which is constant with decaying flesh.

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“When someone dies they go through postmortem changes. In the first hour the body stiffens, then gets cold and eventually decomposes,” Dr Mabaka told court.

He further said while it is difficult to determine the time of death when the body has changed environment, the findings are consistent with bodies dying on the 5h of November.

“I however can’t tell you the exact time of death,” he said.

The doctor further revealed to court that Martin Nchindo had four entry wounds, Ernest Nchindo had five entry woulds, Tommy Nchindo also had five entry wounds while Sinvula Munyeme was also shot five times.

Posing a question from the gallery, Borniface Konga asked the doctor to explain what could have caused large gaping wounds if the suspected poachers were not shot at close range.

“The spleen was also shattered but the doctor never mentioned any bullet hitting the spleen. What could have shattered the spleen. Is it possible for the spleen to be shattered if a person was hit with  bland object,?” asked Konga.

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The unimpressed Konga told court that in the absence of ballistic test n range, the doctor’s report and conclusion could be wrong.

Inquest continues on Monday. So far 24 out of the 35 witnesses have taken the stand.

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