Man, 22, kills grandparents and nephew in a gruesome attack
A Molepolole family is struggling to come to terms with their losses after a 22-year-old family member went on the rampage killing his grandparents, aunt and a toddler in a brutal attack.
Loud screams were heard in the distance last Sunday evening and within an hour, the Lehupu family had lost four members in a bloody attack as a young man, Aobakwe Kgotlaetsile Lehupu, hacked his grandparents with an axe before burning his aunt and young nephew inside a hut at Lesilakgokong lands near Molepolole.
Neighbours, well-wishers, social workers as well as high ranking members of the Botswana Police Service gathered at the family home in Lekgwapheng ward this week to pay their last respects to the bereaved family.
Some of the family members including toddlers who survived the incident were still too shocked and shaken to tell their story, but the culprit’s mother Obikina Lehupu (42) and her cousin Keorapetse Phepheng (22) told how they were lucky enough to have taken cover of the darkness and escaped death.
“He clearly wanted to kill everyone and there was no way anyone could have stood in his way,” Obikina said of her estranged son.
“We’ve always known that he was a bully, but it never occurred to me that he could do such a horrible thing,” she added as she struggled to narrate the chronicle of events that led to the horrific incident.
Phepheng said on the night of the incident she had been at the lands with other family members when she suddenly heard her mother scream in sharp pain.
“It was at around 7p.m. and I had just finished taking a bath and was settling down to have watermelon at my yard.
I suddenly heard my mother screaming from the field.
I shouted out to Obikina for help and together we rushed out to investigate.
My mother was already quiet by then and we saw a man holding a torch in the darkness.
We shouted and asked what the problem was and he started shouting profanities as he rushed towards us.
We recognised Aobakwe’s voice as he rushed towards us swearing that he was going to kill everyone.
We managed to escape and he went to my house and set it on fire. Luckily there was no one inside.
He then followed us to our grandmother’s house but together with four of my cousins and three toddlers we managed to escape.
Out of fear we separated and my elder sister took my two-year-old son with her.
Our grandparents were too weak to escape and Aobakwe hacked the poor old man to death with an axe and burnt our grandmother and one of the toddlers inside the house,” she said as tears began to roll down her cheeks.
When she finally reunited with the others later in the morning, Phepheng said her sister told her that her son was missing.
“We looked all over for my baby only to find him alone in the bush with dust all over his body.
He had spent the night alone in the cold and his eyes and mouth were soiled and swollen,” she said as she fought back more tears.
Molepolole police responded to the report and Aobakwe was arrested on Monday morning at the nearby lands.
Officer Commanding for No.3 District Senior Superintendent Kevin Mookodi confirmed that Lehupu has been charged with four counts of murder, attempted murder and arson, but said investigations into the matter were still underway.