Beaten to death for a TV

MURDERED BY THE MOB: Moitseemang suffered a painful death

Merciless Molopolole mob kill suspected petty thief

Murdered man’s mourning family demand arrests

Stripped of his clothes, his dignity and finally his life, a suspected petty thief was brutally beaten to death by a blood-thirsty Molepolole mob just after midnight on Friday 28 April.

Although James Moitseemang, 35, has already been laid in the ground, his grieving relatives have vowed they will not rest until his killers are brought to justice.

Tension and fear in the area remains high, with the mob reportedly on the hunt for two other men believed to have accompanied Moitseemang on the ill-fated burglary, in which a man lost his life for a TV.

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Speaking to The Voice from the family home in Ntloolengwae ward on Tuesday, the murdered man’s aunt, 64-year-old Kilelo Keoagile revealed they were getting ready to leave for the police to enquire about the lack of progress in the case.

“It is very painful to us as we have just buried our son and none of the suspects are arrested even though some of them are known people from the neighbouring homes,” explains Keoagile, adding Moitseemang, an orphan, was the son to her late sister and so she was responsible for him and his siblings.

Collecting her emotions, the old woman said she was at the lands when she received a call from the deceased’s distressed younger brother, informing her Moitseemang had been badly assaulted by the mob.

“We hear they were armed with pick axes and sticks. They broke his bones [arms] and hit him so many times in the back of the head, until he sustained a deep wound. His blood was spread all over near the house he is accused of robbing,” narrated Keoagile.

Although they searched for Moitseemang on Saturday morning, he was nowhere to be found.

The neighbours could confirm nothing, save to say the area was noisy at night and they suspect it was the sounds of an angry crowd dishing out mob justice on a thief.

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With nowhere left to turn, Keoagile and others went to the police, where they learnt Moitseemang had already been taken to Princess Marina Hospital. Their worst fears were confirmed later that day, when he succumbed to his injuries.

Since then, the family say the only feedback they have had from the police was after the post-mortem, when they were given a report confirming Moitseemang was killed by the mob.

Describing her slain nephew as a humble, hardworking young man, Keoagile said, “He worked as a herdboy and stayed at his employer’s lands. He only came to Molepolole to attend his grandmother’s burial the week before.”

It is not the first time tragedy has touched the grieving family, with Moitseemang’s younger sister, Mmabanyana Moitseemang killed by her boyfriend in 2019.

Meanwhile, Molepolole Station Commander, Benedict Matlho confirmed they received a report of a man caught breaking into an unoccupied house in Ntloolengwae ward, Molepolole.

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“The public arrested him and during the arrest they allegedly assaulted him. The man was found in possession of a television and the mob chased him. Later, after it was reported to the police, we took him to Scottish Livingstone Hospital. As he sustained injuries on the head he was referred to Princess Marina Hospital where he was later reported dead,” explained Superintendent Matlho, adding they are yet to make any arrests in connection with the matter.

According to rumours in the area, Moitseemang was with a relative and a friend, who fled from the mob; while the other two managed to escape, Moitseemang was not so lucky, unable to jump the fence and reportedly caught red-handed with the TV.

The mob are said to have forced the terrified thief back to the scene of the robbery, where he allegedly admitted breaking in and stealing the television set.

Perhaps thinking his confession would save him, he was sorely mistaken.

They stripped the stricken man down to his underwear, before dragging him off into the night. He would not make it back alive.

UPSET BUT ANGRY: Keoagile\’s emotions are torn
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