Court hears evidence as Kafalatis murder investigation opens
“ You don’t f*** with Ian Khama,” one of the accused in the John Kalafatis murder investigation is reported to have said before security forces allegedly gunned down the suspected criminal.
A packed High Court heard the evidence of his younger brother Costa Kalafatis as the high profile case opened in the High Court on Wednesday.
The investigation into the killing of John Kalafatis commenced at the High Court with his young brother Costa called as the first witness.
Giving evidence he alleged that he was told, “You don’t f**k with Ian Khama,” as security officers revealed they had orders to kill his brother. Narrating events that led to the alleged murder, Costa said the accused, Dzimakane Mothobi had told him this as they questioned him on the whereabouts of his brother.
Mothobi is charged together with three other Botswana Defence Force corporals, Goitseman Sechele, Ronny Matako and Boitshoko Maifala for the murder of Kalafatis at or near Moonland Shopping Complex on 13 May 2009.
Costa told the court that sometime in early 2009, while he was at a bar in Extension 14, Mothobi who was in accompany of other officers came and took him for questioning.
“I was detained at Gaborone Central Police Station and later taken to the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters where Mathobi questioned me on the whereabouts of my brother.”
He said it was then that Mothobi indicated to him that they had been given orders to shoot Kalafatis the moment they saw him as he had ‘messed’ with the wrong people.
“Mothobi told me that my brother was involved in a robbery in Phakalane and that people they had robbed were close friends of President Khama. He also told me that John and the other guy behind the robbery had severely beaten their victim and that my brother had broken the fingers of their victim’s wife.
“He told me that he was ordered to shoot John and there was nothing that could be done. When I asked who gave the orders Mothobi said, ‘You don’t F**K with Ian Khama,” Costa told the court.
He said on the day his brother was killed, they were at home around 5pm but later left for Thapong Visual Arts as Kalafatis wanted to get his phone from his friend, Ray Gare, another witness who has since reportedly fled to New Zealand.
Costa said he later parted ways with his brother and went to buy drinks at Village Police Mess.
“After buying my drinks I went to my car which was parked at a stop opposite police the mess. As I got ready to drive off, a Nissan Safari with government registration numbers (BX) parked in front of my car. In no time another vehicle with private registration numbers parked behind. The Nissan Safari had between 8 to 12 men at the back who then jumped out and approached me,” said Costa.
He added that when he got out of the car, Mothobi who was in the car with private registration numbers, asked other officers to get his phone and pass it on to him. “ “Mothobi then asked me about John’s whereabouts, and when I said I don’t know he said ‘O a tshameka, today re tlo go mmolaya’. (He’s joking, we are going to kill him today).
While talking to him I saw a rifle on his lap,’’ he said.
After searching him and his car, Costa said he was then ordered to go home.
“While driving home I met John, Gare and a guy called Joseph driving in Gare’s Corsa. I warned my brother, who was sitting at the passenger seat at the back, that I had been held by police officers and one of them said he was going to kill him, but he did not take me seriously. I told him that the men looking for him were armed and begged him to leave the neigbourhood.”
He said while they were still talking a vehicle approached from the direction John and his friends had come from, and warned them that it could be the car Mothobi was in. He then asked them to drive off, but they ignored him.
“As the vehicle approached I realised that it was the one. Gare then slowly drove off and the car followed them to Moonland Shopping Complex, which is near my house. I lost sight of the vehicles and in less than two minutes I heard gunshots. I later learnt that my brother had been shot dead,’’ he revealed.
The case continues.