A distraught old lady phoned The Voice offices Wednesday afternoon complaining of how the police had arrested and detained her overnight because she sells alcohol at her home in Broadhurst, Extension 27.
The dwelling is commonly known as “Mma Mphadi’s” tavern.
Speaking to The Voice, Oaitse Ramotlhagodi, aged 55, stated that the police came to her house last week Monday on the 4th February while she was out and started to search her house for booze.
She was called home from a meeting she was attending in the area and the police asked her to go with them to the police station after they took her fridge and the beer which they’d found in it.
Ramotlhagodi laments that at the police station, she was later told to hand over her belongings and spend a night in one of the holding cells.
Meanwhile, Ramotlhagodi added that she was released from the holding cells the previous day and was charged P1000 for her crime but is still not happy as to why she had to spend a night in jail while there are other shebeen queens around Broadhurst who sell alcohol at their homes but do not get arrested.
“Why me? What did I do to the police that they can’t leave me alone? Why can’t they arrest all the other shebeen owners too?” She asked in frustration.
Ramotlhagodi went on to tell that on the same day that she called The Voice, the police had come to her house and started searching again for any alcohol that they could find, this time in her tenant’s room. Even though, she’s stopped selling alcohol at her tavern.
The tenant, Irene Gaitsiwe, 26 and her partner Kenny Motlhogelwa 32, told The Voice of how the police had just showed up in their house while they were relaxing and started searching through their belongings for any alcohol.
They found Motlhogelwa drinking Chibuku which he had bought elsewhere and charged him P500, accusing him of having bought the booze from Ramotlhagodi.
“They didn’t even produce any search warrants or tell us why they were searching our house like that,” said Gaitsiwe.
Motlhogelwa also stated that one of the police officers said they should be charged P2000 for the three Chibuku that he had been found with and when he refused to pay such a large sum of money, the officers brought the charge down to P1000, which he refused again and they thus ended up ordering him to pay P500 within 14 days.
Station Commander for Broadhurst Police station Superintendent Bonosi Molapisi confirmed that he knew of Ramotlhagodi’s case and that he was not to say anything yet on Gaitsiwe and Motlhogelwa’s case as he had not yet seen their file.
He said that there is a new implemented law in Botswana that states that anyone who is caught selling alcohol in their homes should be fined. He added that people like Ramotlhagodi do not want to obey the law.
“We have a huge problem here in Broadhurst, Extension 27 of shebeen owners who sell alcohol in their homes and we want to try to eradicate this matter”, Molapisi said. He stated that in Ramotlhagodi’s case, the police were simply doing their job.
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