A 20- year -old Kanye boy was left nursing ghastly wounds after being hit by a stray bullet during a shoot-out between robbers and police in Kanye recently.
Tebogo Phaladi required eight stitches to put together torn flesh around the knee area. The Voice visited the young man in Kanye and with the help of crutches he walked gingerly into the family living room to re-live memories of that explosive afternoon.
Relating the story to The Voice the shy Phaladi said he was walking with friends on the afternoon of March 20th when he suddenly felt a burning sensation on his knee.
“I immediately saw police officers chasing and firing shots at what I later learnt were criminals who had attempted to rob Barclays Bank,” narrated Phaladi.
The young man said he fell to the ground on contact and lay there helplessly with blood gushing from the bullet wound.
“The police did not even know they had hit a bystander until a good Samaritan came to my rescue and took me to the hospital,” he said.
Phaladi said the police only came to check him the following day at the hospital as he rested on his bed after a minor operation.
“The bullet penetrated the kneecap and had to be removed at Princes Marina Hospital,” said Phaladi.
Although Phaladi believes the incident was a mistake and could have happened to anyone, he was however disappointed with the way the whole thing was handled.
“I was discharged on the 28th of March and there was no ambulance to take me back to Kanye,” he said.
Phaladi told The Voice that with the aid of crutches he dragged his weary body to a bus stop where he got a ride to Kanye.
“I did not even have enough money for the bus fare, but I was told the only available ambulance to Kanye had already left. I had no choice but to catch a bus,” he said.
His aunt Kearabetswe Gadiile (35) was also not amused by the way her nephew was treated.
“Police currently pick him up every two days to take him for dressing at the hospital. I’m however still in the dark as to what action to take. Some people have suggested that I should seek legal advise,” she said.
“I’m worried that he may never walk properly again. A knee is a very sensitive organ and now he is walking around with a metal inside him. What if he becomes crippled,” Gadiile asked
Gadiile said she has heard of people who have been wronged by the police and were compensated.
“I thought the police would have mentioned that to me, but so far they have kept to transporting him to the hospital. I wonder what will happen when his wound heals,” she said.
The Voice sought clarity from the police on what they will do to remedy the situation. The Voice further wanted to know if there was any other way the victim could be compensated.
Kanye Police Station Commander Superintendent Kealositse Konyana referred all questions to the Public Relations Unit.
“Please call Mbulawa (Christopher) or Motube (Dipheko), they will be better positioned to give you answers,” he said.
Reached for comment Botswana Police Service Deputy Spokesperson Dipheko Motube said he needed time to respond to the question. Motube was however yet to respond at the time of going to print.