*Missing Royal found dead and burnt
* VP Slumber Tsogwane in shock
The dusty little village of Rakops in Boteti region was this week united in grief over the gruesome death of their chief, Lepang Segaise who had been missing for over a month.
Early this week emotions ran high following the discovery of a burnt Rav 4 in the bush, a few kilometres off the main road.
The charred remains of a human being were found in the driver’s seat of the barely recognisable automobile.
This was confirmed by the police who invaded the village on Monday morning, scouring the tough terrain on foot as a chopper roared from above.
In the evening, as the cops towed the wreckage away, Officer Commanding Number 8, Senior Superintendent Sarah Gabathusi verified the gruesome discovery.
“The remains have been sent to Gaborone, and we can only be sure of the their identity after expert analysis,” Gabathusi told The Voice, adding that it was too early to deduce when the car was set on fire.
“Only experts can determine that!” she reiterated.
TALK OF THE VILLAGE
Police official speak however did not stop the apparent homicide from dominating everyone’s conversations, dividing villagers many of who suspect their chief was killed for muti, along political lines.
Rakops royal, Kgosi Segaise Letang, 96, went missing on Tuesday 13th August. According to information gathered by this publication, a lone farmer was looking for his horses on Monday morning when he stumbled upon the burnt car.
“He called his relatives and then the police were immediately notified,” The Voice learnt.
At the time of going to print on Wednesday, the family was not yet in a position to comment.
“We can only issue a statement after receiving the pathology report,” was all they were prepared to say.
The Voice also made an attempt to talk to the village Acting Kgosi, Diane Jacob, who flatly refused.
“My time is up,” he said, before driving off in his black Mercedes Benz.
This, despite the fact that The Voice team waited outside his office for over 30 minutes while he attended to others.
In an interview with The Voice, Vice President and area Member of Parliament Slumber Tsogwane said he was still in shock at what has transpired in the last couple of days.
“I was with the family this afternoon to comfort them, but as you know the matter is still with the police and together with the family they’ll give guidance on what should be done,” Tsogwane said.
The discovery of the torched car’s skeleton and its unfortunate occupant has the village of Rakops abuzz with all sorts of allegations.
Residents in groups of threes, fives and 10’s were all discussing the found car, dissecting the story and debating what could have happened.
The general belief is that the old man was abducted and then murdered for ritual purposes.
Prominent business people, traditional leaders and politicians have been fingered in the sinister plot.
The Voice found a group of four men and two women deep in conversation at a local tuck shop, a stone-throw away from the Customary Court.
“A prophet at our church said the old man was supposed to stay hidden for at least three months before being killed towards the end of October,” begins a scruffy looking fellow sporting a ZCC badge.
“Apparently his abductors, who have been keeping him in a garage in one of the big houses in the village, panicked after Rakops youth threatened to go house to house opening garages,” he speculates, opening his eyes wide as if to emphasise his point.
The talkative ZCC man believes a Facebook post made by one Rre Stenge on September 19th on the group ‘Rakops Village’ sent the Kgosi’s abductors into panic.
“We know politicians are also involved. No wonder the political debate slated for Friday was suddenly postponed to Sunday. They knew they were burning the body on Friday,” pipes in a flirty young lady, repeatedly patting her newly plaited head.
“People are angry,she asked rhetorically. “Whoever did this to that old man is in for a rude awakening. They’ll walk naked before Independence Day. I used to make fun of him because he would walk to the restaurant to buy take aways for his dogs and ultra-Mel for his cat. I’d shout ‘your dogs are having pasta and chicken today, old man’,” chuckles another member of the gathering, glancing at his almost empty Black Label quart for the umpteenth time.
A neatly dressed gentleman hops out off his Toyota Hilux and immediately joins in the conversation.
“The Voice you should stay here until tomorrow. I’m telling you, by Thursday the police will have made an arrest. I’ve been told some kind of a document was found at the crime scene and they are questioning someone in relation to the said document,” he says with an aura of authority.
A moment of silence passes before he adds thoughtfully, “Rakops! And this is not the first time!”