The appearance in court of suspect William Mapurisa has come as a welcome relief to the murdered man’s family whose long wait for justice is about to be concluded.
For the last seven years the victim’s widow, 75-year-old Maryjane Moyo, has carried her beloved husband’s funeral programme in her handbag. In the company of her two daughters, hands shaking she takes out the lovingly preserved document, and with a deep sigh looks at the picture of the man she was married to for over four decades.
“ He was a lovely man, and my best friend.
We hardly ever spent a day apart. Even today people still call me Mma Madala because he was a friend to everybody,” she says, her face suspended between the glow of remembrance and the tears of regret.
Eldest daughter Freda Macheng puts a consoling arm around her mum, and says: “I had been calling the police on an almost daily basis since dad’s murder in 2007, and had just about given up on their ability to bring the suspect to justice.”
But last week when one of her relatives informed her that the police had finally managed to bring the suspect to court in Francistown, she leapt with joy.
Describing her emotions she said that whilst the family were relieved and happy that their seven-year wait for justice was almost over, as Christians they had long since forgiven the man accused of his murder.
“We will accept whatever the verdict of the court turns out to be, and although we remain hurt by the loss of the old man, we do not hold any grudges.
He was the kindest man you could wish to meet and a wonderful father who loved not only his own kids, but children in general,” Freda said.
It is a sentiment echoed by her younger sister Junior Seretse, who fondly remembers her dad and says that she most feels his absence at Christmas time.
“He was a devoted Methodist and I can still recall his booming voice on the big day wishing all and sundry a ‘Happy Christmas.’ I miss him terribly,” she said.
Although the family were not in court last week when Mapurisa appeared for arraignment, they will be closely following proceedings when the suspect is committed for trial at the High Court.
“It will represent closure for us all,” Maryjane says as she returns the funeral programme to her handbag.