Injured coucillor Ntsogotlho in buffalo poaching rumours
North West District Council Chairperson, Kebareeditse Ntsogotlho is likely to face a poaching charge after being discharged from hospital, The Voice has learnt.
Ntsogotlho was recently attacked and injured by a buffalo in his home area, Khwai during an alleged incident of illegal hunting and killing of a protected wild animal.
He is currently nursing thigh wounds at Nyangabwe referral hospital in Francistown.
Officer commanding for District 5 policing area, Peter Gochela has confirmed that police were investigating a poaching incident in Khwai in which the chairman was allegedly involved.
“We are not necessarily investigating the chairman, but the incident. Five suspects have already been arrested and questioned but I cannot divulge any more information because the matter is still at an early stage,” explained Gochela.
Gochela further revealed that no one had reported the matter to them but that the investigations were prompted by reports on social media about an attack of a senior member of North West community by a wild animal.
Initially it was alleged that Ntsogotlho had gone fishing with his friends when a buffalo attacked him.
Although Gochela refused to share details on the matter for fear of prejudice, it is alleged that game meat and buffalo horns have since been confiscated from some of Ntsogotlho’s relatives who were allegedly at the scene and had taken part in the said criminal act.
Information reaching Okavango Voice has alleged that Ntsogotlho’s uncle and other people went poaching that day and attempted to kill a buffalo. However they ran out of bullets and called for more, which Ntsogotlho brought.
According to the source, when Ntsogotlho arrived at the scene, the buffalo was already down and injured, “It appears they were still arguing on who should finish it off when the animal got up and everyone ran for dear life. Ntsogotlho however, it appears seemed to have not been so fast and ended up being injured.
The buffalo was in the end killed but the police have since confiscated its meat from the suspects’ houses.
Meanwhile Ntsogotlho has offered a different version of events. He said on the fateful day, “Some people who were camping and fishing called us and said they were being harassed by an angry buffalo. They said they had alerted the wildlife officers who were yet to show up. They wanted more bullets as they had tried killing it and ran out of bullets.”
Speaking from a hospital bed in a telephone interview, Ntsogotlho argued that the people had no choice but to kill the buffallo in self defence because wildlife officers usually do not respond in time during attacks from problem animals.
“We found nine men at the scene trying to protect themselves from the buffalo and when they noticed they were being overpowered by the animal they called for help, so I don’t know what happened after I was attacked and taken to hospital,” Ntsogotlho explained
The wildlife and national parks department in Maun has since stated that the matter was never reported to them.