Taking on the Mob

SCARRED: Sekgwa’s stitches

Man relives terrifying beating after mob invade his house

Left battered and broken by a bloodthirsty Mogoditshane mob who burst into his house in the dead of night,
Keonneng Sekgwa has vowed to sue his assailants.

Four months have passed since the terrifying December attack but for the 33-year-old, the scars, both psychological and physical, remain alarmingly vivid.

Sekgwa believes he was targeted because of his rumoured links to Thabo Tholane Olatlheng – a youth commonly known as Xholane with a long history of criminal activities in the village.

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Olatlheng would eventually meet his demise a month later, beaten to death by an angry mob on 5 January after he was allegedly caught stealing at Mogoditshane’s Senthumole ward.

It is a fate that so easily could have been Sekgwa’s.

Reliving the night he was almost killed, the Molepolele native revealed he was fast asleep when a mob of about ten people stormed the premises.

“They got inside the house shouting the other one is here and started assaulting me. One man hit me with a baseball bat breaking my right arm – you could hear it crack like an egg!”

A lady grabbed me tightly so I couldn’t move as the guy tried to strike me on the head; I would have died if he connected!”

Alerted by his desperate screams, Sekgwa’s neighbours arrived in the nick of time, forcing the attackers to flee into the night.

Pointing out the long line of jagged stiches that dominate the top of his right arm, Sekgwa says he now has to use his other hand for everything, including eating.

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“I now survive with a terrible backache. I am helpless and cannot work at all; that worsens my life. I cannot even pay for rent anymore as I do not have any source of income. I used to work as a panel beater where I earned P50, P100 sometimes even P200 depending on the work I did,” he told The Voice, adding the mob also took his wallet, which contained his Omang card.

As well as his damaged body – he is still awaiting wrist surgery on his injured arm – the ordeal has had a devastating impact on Sekgwa’s mental state.

“I always imagined my future, I do not have children or a wife, I only have a brother but he is also caring for his family as he recently got married. Though he assists me he cannot afford everything. I even feel suicidal, it is hard for me to admit.”

To add insult to injury, Sekgwa insists he hardly knew Olatlheng.

“He used to pass by my place and I would greet him, that’s as far as our relationship went. Xholane was a well-known man among Mogoditshane residents but we were not friends,” maintains Sekgwa, who, not for the first time since the interview started, grimaces in obvious pain.

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When the nationwide lockdown is lifted, Sekgwa, who says he can identify his assailants, plans to seek legal assistance and compensation.

Concluding the narrative, Sekgwa’s older brother, Paul Mothusi Sekgwa, 53, said the family now live in fear as they worry the mob might come after them.

Highlighting his brother’s current torment, Paul grimly declared, “He is just idling alone. Often when sleeping he wakes up saying he hears people’s footsteps just because of the trauma.”

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