VILLAGERS IN FEAR AS KILLER RAPIST TERRORIZES SEBINA AREA
Some say he is tall, some swear he is short, some say he is dark in complexion, others believe he is light -some have even named him.
Amongst the confusion only one thing is certain about the killer prowling Sebina and the surrounding areas. People are terrified.
In a reign of terror dating back to last December the wanted man is accountable for one murder and at least three rapes.
He is also believed to be responsible for four cases of arson as well as a series of thefts mainly involving cell phones and money.
But the most chilling fact of all is that he has threatened to kill six more people, including a police officer.
He remains at large despite an extensive search and appeals from the village chief to bring the culprit to justice.
Amongst the fear there is also anger.
Those in the search party are determined to catch him dead or alive, with the emphasis more on the former.
The threat to kill more people came after the murder of 47-year-old mother of seven, Balebi Machengedza of Mautakgang lands, last month.
The search party came across a message in English scribbled in the sand saying: ‘I will only stop after killing seven people and a cop.’
Balebi was attacked at night and stabbed with a sharp object several times while her four children aged between six and fifteen watched helplessly.
She was later confirmed dead on arrival at Maropong clinic where she was rushed after her children raised the alarm.
The motive behind the killing is not clear although there are rumours that the two were known to each other.
Her children have since been moved to Gaborone to stay with a relative.
During a recent kgotla meeting Chief Kgakanyane Sebina told residents that it was likely that they were dealing with more than one person.
He warned them not to go alone especially to the fields.
Fuelling the belief that the wanted man was of Zimbabwean origin and that some villagers might be hiding him, the chief added: “People must also stop keeping illegal migrants in their houses because they are difficult to trace after committing crime.”
Both the chief and police involved in the search say that getting information from residents is difficult.
Some have even given misleading information for fear of being found employing foreigners illegally.
“Some residents are sending us on a wild goose chase, derailing police efforts to solve the widespread criminal activities happening in this area,” said Officer Commanding Alakanani Makobo whose officers are responsible for policing the region.
This reticence to talk was clearly visible when The Voice went to the isolated home of one villager in Mautakgang lands, not far from where Balebi was murdered.
The middle-aged woman, who declined to be named, came to greet us with obvious concern on her face, and a panga in her hand.
All she was prepared to say was: “Though we live in fear we are ready for the culprit who we now know because he used to work for some people in the area.
We can’t afford to leave our crops and livestock here just because of this crazed man.”
Escorted by several vicious looking dogs, the woman who was tending her goats is critical of the police who she claims are ‘nowhere to be seen.’
Responding to the accusation Officer Commanding Makobo dismissed claims that police were not doing enough to catch the culprit, instead blaming residents for contributing to the delay through spreading misleading information regarding the terrorist.
Although he was cagey with information for fear of alerting their target, he revealed that the suspect often drew a sketch in the sand next to the crime scene showing a heart pierced by an arrow.
Inside the heart is the message, “I want sex.”
He however was not aware of reports that the suspect had threatened to kill more people including one of his officers.
He added that despite conflicting descriptions of the wanted man, police have a good idea of who they are looking for.
“It’s just a matter of time before we catch the culprit,” he predicted.
His confidence has done little to calm the fears of villagers.
One man who claims to know the suspect well, but like many others declined to be named, provided a description for the sketch we have used to illustrate the story.
He says that the man he named as Nkosi Moyo was a fellow herd boy, and that he was drinking with him the night police officers and members of the search party arrived in the bar in Marapong.
“When they came he got up and ran away. Since then he has not been seen.”
He described the man as around 30-years-old, of middle-height and ‘a bit light in complexion.’
He always wears a hat to hide what he thinks is a scar on his head.
There is also a scar under his left ear.
He described his eyes as being permanently red, ‘like someone who smokes dagga,’ and was ‘ever laughing.’