Family sues state for murder

Francinah Baaitse
LATE: Keolopile Morolong

The family of a 30-year-old man of Maun who was brutally killed, allegedly by the police at Setata veterinary gate in November 2022, is back in court demanding answers and justice for their late son, Koolopile Morolong.

Appearing before Maun Magistrates’ Court on Monday this week and on behalf of the family, Attorney Charles Tlagae expressed concern that the matter will soon go for trial and yet the state is concealing important statements that could help the family with their case.

“The state is concealing statements. We have only been served with a postmorterm report that was filed by a pathologist,” Tlagae told court.

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His further contention was that, “We are going to a trial where a man died at the hands of the police. We need documents that will be used.”

Morolong was killed at a random stop and search police operation at Setata veterinary gate when he was on his way to Tsau village with two of his friends.

According to his father, Mosimanyana Morolong, a North West District Councillor, on that fateful Saturday, his only son, together with two other men, embarked on a journey to Tsau to fix Mosimanyana’s Hilux, which had broken down in that village and took a gearbox for that purpose.

At the gate, they were stopped by the police, who are said to have asked them to get off the car they were driving and searched it.

They then searched the men, but when it was Morolong’s turn to be searched, he is said to have refused to be searched, leading to a brawl with the police, who are said to have brutally assaulted him and choked him to death in full view of eye witnesses.

Nonetheless, the police claimed that, when resisting the search, Morolong tried to swallow a sachet of drugs in a desperate attempt to conceal it and suddenly became unconscious and was rushed to the hospital where he was certified dead on arrival.

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However, the grieving family of a father-of-two girls refuse to buy the police’s account of events and strongly believe that the police killed their son and are now trying to cover up for the misconduct by cooking up the swallowing of a drug sachet story.

The postmortem report is said to have revealed that the deceased’s stomach was empty and with no alleged sachet.

“The police were overzealous and reckless, which resulted in this person losing life. These police officers are still on duty,” added Tlagae on Monday in court as he demanded to be given all important documents in Morolong’s case docket.

“There is no provision of the law that says we shouldn’t be served,” he further added, as he requested that prosecution be given at most 14 days to have served them with the said documentation.

The case was called for status hearing and a trial date is yet to be set. The state is expected to have issued the said documents when the matter returns.

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