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A trip from Botlhapatlou to Molepolole ended painfully for a driver and his passenger after the passenger bit off a piece of the driver’s cheek in retaliation for a bite on the thumb.

The bizarre incident occurred on July 7th, 2022 when Alfred Koobatlile, who was on his way to Molepolole, offered a random hitchhiker a ride in his car.

The hitchhiker, Mokwaledi Michael Motlhaselwa of Molepolole’s Ntloolengwae ward, said when he got into Koobatile’s car at Hatsalatladi village, he found two other male passengers inside.

“The other two passengers disembarked and I found myself alone with the driver. The car then suddenly took a wrong turn and, before I could figure out what was happening, I was engulfed by smoke inside the car and I started to feel I was getting dizzy and confused. I then heard the man saying, “Ngwana ke ene (He is the one),” said Motlhaselwa, adding that the phrase made him suspicious that the man was sending a cryptic message to someone on the other end of the telephone line that he had found a perfect candidate for ritual murder.

However, Koobatlile’s nephew, Pogiso Rankhibidu, said his uncle’s “Ngwana ke ene” conversation had nothing to do with planning a murder but he was instead talking to his son about the car.

“I understand my uncle gave the man a ride and informed him that he would first pass by his lands before driving to Molepolole. As he had earlier taken the car to be repaired in Lentsweletau, his son phoned to ask him if he had managed to get the car back and he responded by saying, ‘Ngwana ke ene, ke mo tsere,’’meaning the car was okay and he had collected it from service,” explained Rankhibidu, adding that unfortunately for his uncle, Koobatlile misinterpreted the phrase and went into panic mode, biting his uncle on the cheek.

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The following day, Motlhaselwa went on social media to talk about an ordeal he had suffered at the hands of a would-be ritual murderer.

He told a strong audience of a popular Facebook page that he had tried to open the door and when he realised the car was locked, he hit the windows with his hands in an attempt to break free.

He further said that he then tried to press the unlock button, but Koobatlile prevented him from doing so by biting him on the thumb and pushing him back into the passenger seat.

“He strangled me and, in defence, I sunk my teeth deep into his cheek and blood splattered on my face. I finally managed to press the unlock button and opened the driver’s door and ran away, leaving my phone, cap and P200 inside his car. He, too, ran away,” said Motlhaselwa on Facebook, showing his audience bite marks on the thumb.

According to Motlhaselwa, while he was still in the middle of filing a report with Molepolole police, a bleeding Koobatlile also arrived with his wife to report the same incident.

Molepolole Police Station Commander, Superintendent Benedict Matlho, confirmed that the case was reported to them and that once Koobatlile, who currently cannot speak because of his cheek injuries has recovered, Motlhaselwa will be brought before court to face a grievous bodily harm charge.

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