Dead policeman’s family suspect foul play
The devastated family of a young traffic cop who hanged himself in a police cell last week says their son might have been killed.
Monkgogi Peter Motlhaleemang died in a Molepolole police cell where he was locked up for misusing an impounded private vehicle without the owner’s permission.
Motlhaleemang, 28,was from Kanye but stationed in Thamaga where he was arrested and charged after the owner of the misused vehicle had lodged a complaint against him.
Distraught members of his family described him as someone who loved life too much to kill himself over such a small matter.
“ We suspect he was brutally beaten during investigations, and later died in a police cell from injuries sustained. Molepolole police officers told the family that Monkgogi hanged himself with a blanket, yet we found a rope tied around his neck,” she Motlhaleemang’s 40- year-old aunt who is also a cop.
Details of the incident that led to Motlhaleeemang’s death are such that a motorist was charged at a roadblock in Thamaga and the vehicle impounded.
Motlhaleemang was given the vehicle keys to drive it to the police station to await roadworthiness inspection the following day.
Instead of parking the vehicle as instructed, the young cop used it to run personal errands.
Allegations are that Monkgogi unlawfully used the vehicle to take his girlfriend to work the following morning.
When the owner arrived at the police station later that same morning, he allegedly found his vehicle untidy, the petrol gauge low and the engine still warm indicating that the car had just been parked.
The frustrated owner then reported the matter to the police who arrested Motlhaleemang and detained him at the Molepolole police cells where he committed suicide, allegedly with the hem of a blanket.
The grieving young man’s 81-year-old grandmother Segomotsonyana Sennathata said that she knew Motlhaleemang as “a responsible father of two children who was full of life and hope for the future.”
Botswana police Assistant Commissioner Witness Bosija confirmed the incident and emphasized that the matter has been confirmed to be a case of suicide “Investigations on what could have led to the tragic incident are however ongoing,” Bosija said.