Prophets castigated in Water Utilities missing persons search
Prophets that were brought in to assist in locating Water Utilities Corporation missing employees misled family members according to police.
The prophets and seers allegedly hindered police and scuba divers for almost 10 days by insisting that they knew where the bodies of the drowned men were located.
Castigating the men of the cloth without the officer who led the search team, Naledi Police Station Commander King Tshebo, said that the police were initially spot-on about where to start the hunt, but were persuaded to change their plans by families acting on the word of the prophets and traditional doctors.
“The churches and traditional doctors did not mislead the police. They however misled the families of the deceased, and as the police we only abandoned our original plan at the request of the families. Where the bodies and the boat were found is exactly where we had camped at the start of our search.
“This delayed the whole process. If things were done according to our plan, I am convinced we could have completed the search much earlier,” the officer said without disclosing the names of the traditional doctors and the prophets or their churches .
It took the search team nine days to discover the first body while the last one was retrieved from the Gaborone Dam last Saturday. All the bodies were retrieved intact.
The boat used by the three men, who drowned when they had gone to the dam to collect water samples for testing, was retrieved on Monday with its engine detached and lying next to it.
One Scuba diver from the Botswana Defence Force, who asked not to be named, said that the prophets greatly compromised their search and professionalism.
“They pointed to a certain area more than 100 metres north of where the bodies were finally discovered, but we had no choice but to follow them because that is what the families wanted,” he said.
Two of the three drowned men, Moganetsi Goitsemang and Kebolokile Mosiiwa both 29 were buried in Mogorosi and Kachikau respectively over the weekend amid anguish and a desperate call for answers as to what exactly happened at the dam on the fateful day.
The third man, Johannes Ramotiti, 46, of Ramotswa will be buried this weekend.
Naledi Police Station Commander, Tshebo has said that a full report will be released after a completion of investigations that includes WUC and its employees.
Mosiiwa, who was trained in Fishing and Boat Making from Maun Technical College, was believed to be operating the boat when the tragedy struck.