BDF officer in court for wife’s murder

Portia Mlilo
Gaboutlwelwe Modirelabangwe and his wife, Dorothy Modirelabangwe

Postmortem will clear my name- LtColonel Modirelabangwe

Botswana Defence Force (BDF) officer, Lieutenant Colonel Gaboutlwelwe Rich Modirelabangwe appeared before Broadhurst Magistrate court this Monday charged with one count of murder.

The 45-year-old former Botswana Senior Football National team Zebras player is accused of killing his wife, Dorothy Sebolai Modirelabangwe on January 13th. The incident is said to have occurred at the couple’s house at Glen Valley BDF camp on the day Dorothy came from Orapa where she lived and worked to visit her husband.

Modirelabangwe, popularly known as Stopper in football, allegedly told the police Investigating Officer that he left Dorothy and went to the BDF mess for a few drinks. He claims to have found his wife lying on the floor motionless.

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However, suspicions of foul play came after neighbours mentioned they heard Dorothy screaming for help on that fateful night.

According to Dorothy’s workmate in Orapa who preferred not to be named for fear of victimisation, Modirelabangwe physically abused his wife. She said she used to show her scars all over her body as a result of abuse by her husband.

BDF officer in court for wife's murder
HIDING: Gaboutlwelwe Rich Modirelabangwe consulting with his attorney Tebego Sebego

Meanwhile, State Prosecutor Sub-Inspector Kennedy Ramere told the court that the investigations on the matter were still at an initial stage. He pleaded with the magistrate to remand the accused person in custody pending police investigations.

“The Investigating Officer only managed to register a statement of one witness and he is yet to record statements of about five more witnesses. The post-mortem report that will determine the cause of death is yet to be conducted. We ask the court to give the police at least 10 days to complete their investigations,” said Ramere

Representing the accused person, attorney Tebogo Sebego said he has discussed with the prosecution and agreed that they be given ten days to complete their investigations. He said this is a very unfortunate incident and that his client was pinning his hopes on the post-mortem report to clear his name.

Sebego requested on a compassionate basis for his client to be enabled to sign all the necessary documents to facilitate the burial of his wife.

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Magistrate Onkarabile Mokone agreed with the prosecution to give the Investigating Officer time to complete the investigations.

On the issue of allowing the accused person to sign insurance documents, Mokone said he can do it after the post-mortem results are out.

She ordered that the accused be remanded in custody and be brought back to court on January, 26th for mention.

Dorothy will be laid to rest this Saturday in Gaborone.

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