A story of survival

LUCKY ESCAPE: Koobeilwe(L), MUTILATED: Koobeilwe's scarred stomach(M), LOST IN THOUGHT: Gaoagisiwe(R)

Nearly three years after she somehow escaped death, the long, vivid scar slashed across Mpusang Koobeilwe’s tummy is a painful reminder of the harrowing events of 7 July 2020.

The 39-year-old was left for dead, the father of her three children, Ontiretse Gaoagisiwe, allegedly cutting her stomach wide open with an okapi night.

It is thought Koobeilwe only survived because her attacker believed she was dead.

Charged with unlawful wounding, Gaoagisiwe’s trial began before Molepolole Magistrates Court last Thursday.

Fearfully referred to as ‘Dimo’ in Ditladi Lands deep in the Kweneng District, where the 35-year-old suspect is from and where the attack occurred, it was heard that on the fateful day, Gaoagisiwe found his ex-girlfriend, Koobeilwe, charging her phone at a neighbour’s yard – one, Mophakisi Setlhong.

Giving evidence, Koobeilwe said the accused promptly left only to return a little later.

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“He called me and I saw him putting his hand inside his pocket, taking out a knife. I tried to run away but he pulled me from behind. When I turned, that was when he stabbed my stomach. I fell down and my intestines were out on the ground. He tried stabbing me again but Setlhong grabbed him and they wrestled for the knife.

“During the tussle, Setlhong also sustained injury after Gaoagisiwe stabbed him on the buttocks,” narrated Koobeilwe nervously, doing her best to avoid eye-contact with the accused as she added that he then called the police and his relatives in Malwelwe, informing them he had just killed his ex.

After receiving a phone call, Special Constable, Mesane Neelo, who was at home, swiftly looked for transport and attended the scene.

She rushed Koobeilwe to Botlhapatlou Clinic, who promptly referred the wounded woman to Scottish Livingstone Hospital, where she remained for close to three weeks.

In her evidence, Neelo said she arrived at the crime scene to find the victim lying motionless on the ground, her clothes soaked in blood, her abdomen wrapped with a jersey.

“I was shocked when we arrived at Hospital to only realise that the victim’s intestines were outside,” confessed Neelo.

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Speaking to The Voice outside court, Koobeilwe revealed her body has never fully recovered, adding she has to be very careful with what she eats.

“When eating bread I only take one fatcake, I don’t have to eat to get satisfied. If I eat too much I spend a sleepless night; I will experience excruciating pains the whole night,” she revealed, carefully lifting up her dress to show her badly scarred, mutilated stomach.

Shaking her head sadly, Koobeilwe accused her ex of only loving her when she was without child, accusing him of deserting her whenever she fell pregnant only to keep crawling back when the baby was grown.

“The most hurting thing, he left me with three boys aged 12, nine and the youngest four-year-old and also accused me of cheating him though I wasn’t in any relationship,” she said.

Seemingly taking the accusations against him lightly, a relaxed Gaoagisiwe told The Voice Koobeilwe regularly abused him verbally when they were together, to the point that she once told him ‘to go and have sex with his mother’.

“Tota nna ke sale ke mo kopile gore ke mo duele ka kgomo re fetse kgang, (I have long requested to pay her with a cow to finish the matter),” he concluded.

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Out on bail, he will be back in court on 29 May for continuation of trial.

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